President Uhuru Kenyatta unveiled part of his much-awaited Cabinet by picking several loyalists as well as experienced technocrats.
However, experts said that when picking the rest of his team, the President must also appoint experienced technocrats and his choices ought to be guided by inclusivity, competence and integrity if he is to secure a lasting legacy in his second and final term.
The remaining appointments must also be seen to unify a nation divided by last year’s prolonged electioneering.
President Kenyatta has said his administration will pay special attention to four key sectors he believes will drive Kenya’s economic agenda during his second term in office. The youth, he has said, will be at the centre of the four-pillar plan, dubbed “the Big Four”, that includes food security, affordable housing, manufacturing and affordable healthcare.
Observers said the delay in announcing the full Cabinet line-up points to the delicate balancing act that he and Deputy President William Ruto face in picking a “dream team” on the back drop of the political realities informed by the 2022 succession.
Other insiders said the President is likely to bet on bold technocrats who will implement his vision for the country’s economic and social growth.
“He needs bold, efficient professionals who understand the inner workings of government and have a Matiang’i kind of effect,” said one of the President’s allies. He was referring to the work ethic of acting Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i who has been retained as a CS in the Interior docket.
According to Nairobi lawyer Charles Kanjama, the process of assembling a Cabinet should be guided by meritocracy and the need to heal the nation.
The University of Nairobi lecturer and economist Michael Chege said the President’s real challenge lies in crafting a team that will deal with the runaway corruption in government.
“Repressing the prevailing trade imbalance, which is clearly unsustainable, and offering incentives that favour local manufacturing and consumption options should be prioritised,” said economic analyst Kamotho Njenga.
Similar sentiments were shared by Economist Anzetse Were, who said transforming manufacturing, agriculture and education should form Mr Kenyatta’s key planks.
Aly Khan Satchu said: “I would not be afraid to draw from a deeper talent pool. The likes of Michael Joseph and Bob Collymore spring to mind. They have delivered outstanding value to their shareholders and I am sure would do the same for Kenya Inc.”