alexa Rashid Echesa fired as Uhuru Kenyatta reshuffles Cabinet - Daily Nation

Rashid Echesa fired as Uhuru Kenyatta reshuffles Cabinet

Friday March 1 2019

President Uhuru Kenyatta

President Uhuru Kenyatta. He says the changes are aimed at achieving the Big Four Agenda. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

HARRY MISIKO
By HARRY MISIKO
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President Uhuru Kenyatta has reshuffled the Cabinet days after talking tough on mega corruption in his government.

In the changes announced on Friday morning, Sports Cabinet Secretary Rashid Echesa was fired and replaced by his Education counterpart Amina Mohamed.

Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec) Chairman George Magoha landed a promotion - he will take over from Ms Mohamed and run the Education docket if cleared by Parliament.

Also shown the door was Broadcasting and Telecommunication Principal Secretary Fatuma Hirsi.

"In accordance with Article 155 of the Constitution, the appointment of Mrs Fatuma Hirsi, as a Principal Secretary has been vacated," Mr Kenyatta said in a statement to newsrooms.

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President Kenyatta, who is on an official visit in Addis Ababa, also shook up his principal secretaries, with Ms Susan Mochache being moved from the Ministry of Environment to Health.

Mr Ali Noor Ismail was sent to the State Department of Cooperatives, Dr Ibrahim M. Mohamed from Mining to the State Department of Environment and Mr Peter Kiplagat Tum was re-assigned to the State Department of Labour from Health.

Others appointed were Dr Margaret Mwakima (State Department of East African Community Affairs) and Dr Susan Koech, who has been moved from EAC docket to the State Department of Wildlife.

"The portfolio responsibilities and changes made in the structure of government set out in this order shall come into immediate effect," he said.

The Head of State said the changes were aimed at equipping and and orientating his government in its implementation of the Big Four Agenda— housing, affordable healthcare for all, manufacturing and food security.

The President added that the shake-up was targeted at " enhancing efficiency, transparency and accountability at all levels of government through a governance structure and leadership that ensures rapid delivery of public services to Kenyans."

Mr Echesa, who has served as CS for one year, a month and two days, is the first minister to be directly and openly sacked by Mr Kenyatta.

FAILURES

The other CSs who left the Cabinet stepped aside before they were quietly replaced in reshuffles.

The little-known Mr Echesa replaced Hassan Wario, who was appointed Kenya's ambassador to Austria as Mr Kirimi Kaberia retained his position as principal secretary.

The former Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) youth leader in Kakamega has not had it smooth in the sports docket, with critics questioning his academic credentials during his vetting.

Kenya lost the hosting rights for the 2018 Africa Nations Championships due to lack of facilities under Wario's watch, but Mr Echesa, his successor, has done little to improve the country's sporting infrastructure.

None of the five stadiums promised by the Jubilee government has been constructed.

On the other hand, the demotion of Ms Mohamed, who earlier on served in the powerful Foreign Affairs ministry, is partly linked to her recent blunders and gaffes in the Education docket.

AMINA

At the end of last year, the CS, who lobbied and fiercely fought for the release of Mr Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto from the shackles of the International Criminal Court (ICC), was blowing hot and cold on the implementation of the 2-6-3-3 Competency-Based Curriculum.

“The rollout of the new curriculum is important, but it cannot be rushed,” Ms Mohamed, a career diplomat, told members of the Senate Education Committee.

She later changed her mind, sending mixed signals on the project, and President Kenyatta had to apologise to stakeholders and Kenyans at large for the confusion.

In the war on corruption, mega scandals having rocked his time at State House, Mr Kenyatta has vowed time and again that action will be taken against all individuals found guilty, individuals whom he has said will carry their own crosses.

The scandals rocked various state agencies including the National Cereals and Produce Board, Kenya Pipeline Company, the National Youth Service and Kenya Prisons.

Latest in the headlines are Arror and Kamwerer dams, phantom projects that have cost the taxpayer Sh21 billion so far.

Additional reports by Jill Namatsi and Ayumba Ayodi.