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Wednesday, June 12, 2024
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Powerful Women Around President Uhuru Kenyatta

Powerful Women Around President Uhuru Kenyatta
Powerful Women Around President Uhuru Kenyatta

PRESIDENT Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration is distinctly different from his predecessors in that while their closest advisors were mainly men, several women have come up in the new regime who have the ear of the presidency.

Some of these women not only called the shots during the elections campaigns but are closely involved in the almost daily running of the government and meet with the president on a daily basis.

Sources say that the President consults widely with them not only on matters gender and youth matters but also other areas of concern which have previously been the preserve of the predominately male kitchen cabinets of his predecessors.

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At home, First Lady Margaret Kenyatta is said to wield some influence on her husband as does his mother Mama Ngina Kenyatta who, since his political debut in the late 90s, played an integral role from behind the scenes to propel her son to the highest office in the land.

On political matters, Uhuru has long-serving State House political adviser Nancy Gitau who, while averse to publicity since she started working there under the last regime, is considered a formidable strategist who holds a lot of sway within the government.

Indeed, some of the State House insiders say the media-shy Gitau is one of the “most powerful person” around the presidency. But she seems oblivious to this as others describe her as a “motherly figure who is always nice to everyone and wants everyone around her to be comfortable.”

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They say she is very ‘protective’ of the presidency and is very ‘passionate’ against the ICC as revealed during a recent interview with the Standard newspaper.

Gitau, who has worked at State House for the last six years was the team leader in USAID’s democracy and governance sector where she worked for 17 years prior to joining the government. Prior to that she had worked with Undugu society.

Away from State House, Uhuru counts on the counsel of Lands Secretary Charity Ngilu, Taveta MP Naomi Shabaan, her Runyenjes counterpart Cecile Mbarire and nominated MP Amina Abdallah.

Ngilu was among the Jubilee luminaries and was rewarded with a Cabinet position after she lost in the race for the Kitui senate. Shabaab and Amina go back a long way with Uhuru since he became leader of the independence party Kanu on whose ticket he lost the 2002 elections. The two were instrumental in mobilizing support for Uhuru’s The National Alliance party.

has served two terms in Parliament as a Kanu nominee and was rewarded for her loyalty with yet another nomination by TNA after the last elections.

Shabaan’s influence is seen in the recent issuance of title deeds to residents at the Coast and the donation of some land owned by the Kenyatta family to squatters in Taveta.

On policy matters, Uhuru counts on Devolution Secretary Ann Waiguru, her Foreign Affairs counterpart Amina Mohammed and deputy head of mission to Somalia Yvonne Khamati.

“Uhuru has trusted Waiguru since his days as the Minister for Finance. She was instrumental in major reforms at the Treasury and it did not surprise many when she landed one of the most powerful dockets in his government,” a government insider said.

Waiguru is held in such high esteem by the presidency that talk within political circles say that she might be considered to take up the powerful Interior Affairs and National Coordination docket when the Cabinet is restructured.

Amina and Khamati have been involved in the shuttle diplomacy to try and build up support in the continent for Uhuru and Ruto as they seek to defer, delay or transfer their ICC cases.

Their lobbying seems to have been successful as 40 out of 49 countries recently presented a petition to the United Nations Security Council seeking to have the cases against the two deferred.

Amina has made a strong representation both locally and internationally defending Uhuru’s position that Kenya’s sovereignty has to be respected and foreign relations must be based on mutual respect.

Source- https://www.the-star.co.ke/

 

 

Powerful Women Around President Uhuru Kenyatta

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