President Uhuru Kenyatta’s move to sack five female Cabinet secretaries has been greeted with fury as regions of those affected cry foul.
The chairperson of the Public Service Commission Margaret Kobia appeared surprised but expressed hope, saying it is too soon to pass judgment.
“The President Kenyatta is a strong supporter of women leaders in this country. I hope very soon there will be more than a third of women appointed to the Cabinet. The criteria appears to be a track record of superior performance and I am sure there are women who meet that standard,” she said.
Gender activists will keenly be following subsequent nominees by Mr Kenyatta to see how many women ascend to the cabinet.
Already FIDA-Kenya is insisting that the constitutional requirement that not more than two-thirds of elected and appointed leaders be of one gender must be adhered to.
At the same time, the dropping of Devolution CS Mwangi Kiunjuri angered residents of Laikipia County where he comes from.
“We were surprised as residents of Laikipia County that our son’s name did not appear in the names of those who were retained by the President in his Cabinet,” said Hannah Wanjira, a resident of Nyahururu town.
She added: “We are urging the President to reconsider his decision and retain Mr Kiunjuri in his government”.
Harman Muchangi, another resident said: “It was the same President who convinced Mr Kiunjuri not to leave the Cabinet for elective seat so as to help him defend the presidential seat.”
Mr Kiunjuri had been tipped to quit government to vie for the Laikipia gubernatorial seat in the last year’s General Elections, a seat that residents said he could have won easily due to his political influence in the county and the country as whole.
The seat is currently held by Ndiritu Muriithi who won the seat as an independent candidate after beating former Laikipia Governor Joshua Irungu who was vying on a Jubilee ticket.
“I am sure that Mr Kiunjuri could have won the seat due to his political influence in Laikipia County and the country as whole if the President could have allowed him to vie for the seat.
“As residents of his home county we are therefore asking President Kenyatta to reconsider his decision and retain him to the government,” said Antony Ndegwa.
Susan Wairimu another resident argued that the Cabinet secretary played a big role in making sure that the President was re-elected for a second term in office.
The former Laikipia East MP was named Devolution and Planning Cabinet Secretary on November 2015, replacing Anne Waiguru who resigned after sustained public pressure to step aside over the Sh791 million National Youth Service scandal.