Fifteen Principal secretaries left out of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s second-term Cabinet have been thrown into a state of panic, unsure of their fate.
As was the case of Cabinet secretaries who were thrown into a state of uncertainty when President Kenyatta named the initial nine Cabinet members, the PSs are not sue whether they have been retained or dismissed, even though they are required to report to work daily.
“As it stands, you do not know if you were sacked or not. You are just there, waiting. And the fact that the President did not say when he will fill the remaining posts makes it even worse. But the worst situation is to have someone named to your position, and you are not told what happens to you, the vacant positions notwithstanding,” one PS in limbo told the Sunday Nation.
In his appointments last month, President Kenyatta named 31 Principal secretaries, 15 less than the 46 PSs who served in his first term.
He did not, however, clarify on the fate of the 15 who had served in the first term but were not on the new list.
Of the 15 whose fates remain unclear, six have had their posts filled by new appointees.
The six whose slots have been filled include John Mosonik (Infrastructure). Mr Mosonik was leading the 10,000km Jubilee road tarmacking programme. His slot has been taken by Julius Korir who was moved from the Health ministry.
In the Gender Department, the fate of Ms Mwanamaka Mabruki hangs in the balance after Safina Kwekwe was named to her docket.
In mining, Dr Mohammed Ibrahim Mahmud remains unsure of his fate after President Kenyatta merged the ministry with that of Petroleum and named Andrew Ng’ang’a as the Petroleum PS without naming his Mining counterpart.
President Kenyatta also seemed to have edged out Sports Development PS Richard Ekai after he retained Peter Kaberia to the position he ascended to in March 2017.
Mr Ekai was edged out following a litany of accusations following the Rio Olympics fiasco where athletes missed their kits.
Soft-spoken Planning PS Irungu Nyakera is also sailing in the same boat after Julius Muia was named to his post.
CLINGING ON THEIR JOBS
Dr Dinah Jerotich Mwinzi who was the PS in charge of Vocational Training in the Ministry of Education, also found her name missing from the list of new PSs.
Also still clinging on their jobs despite President Kenyatta making it clear that he intended to name substantive PSs to their dockets include ICT’s Victor Kyalo, Industry and Enterprise Development's Patrick Nduati, Prof Fred Segor of Water, Khadija Kassachoom of Labour and Fatuma Hersi of Tourism.
For the latter six, it is an agonising wait, unsure whether or not they will continue at work or they will be redeployed.
“Governments never sack people. They just name your replacement, and you are supposed to get the message,” a senior Jubilee Party official said of the PSs.
“But as it stands, they still have hope as there is really no limit to how many PSs the President can name, as compared to the constitutional limit of 22 Cabinet Secretaries.”
Others unsure whether their posts have been filled or not include Arts and Culture PS Joe Okudo, Mr Sammy Itemere of Broadcasting and Telecommunications, Mr Ali Noor Ismail of Cooperatives and Housing and Urban Development PS Aidah Munano.
When President Kenyatta reorganised his Cabinet in January and said he had only retained six CSs, the rest were asked by State House to continue working until advised otherwise.
In the end, six were re-appointed while those dropped were appointed to head various diplomatic missions.
Hanging in the Balance
1. Arts, Culture - Joe Okudo
2. Broadcasting & Telecommunications - Sammy Itemere
3. Cooperatives Ali - Noor Ismail
4. Gender Services- Mwanamaka Mabruki
5. Housing & Urban Development - Aidah Munano
6. ICT & Innovation - Victor Kyalo
7. Infrastructure - John Musonik
8. Transport- Patrick Nduati Mwangi
9. Labour - Khadija Kassachoom
10. Mining - Dr Mohammed Ibrahim Mahmud
11. National Water Services - Fred Sigor
12. Correctional Services- Richard Ekai
13. Tourism - Fatuma Hersi
14. Planning - Wilson Nyakera Irungu
15. Vocational & Technical Training - Dr Dinah Jerotich Mwinzi
EDITOR'S NOTE: The earlier list of the principal secretaries whose fate is still unknown did not correctly reflect their State departments, and/or their replacements, if any. We highly regret the error.