UHURU PLANNING CABINET RESHUFFLE
President Uhuru Kenyatta is considering the first reshuffle of his cabinet barely six months after it was constituted.
Multiple sources have told the Star those targeted for reshuffle include Interior Secretary Joseph ole Lenku and his Defence counterpart Raychelle Omamo.
The two are to be transferred to what have been described as “softer” ministries. The President is said to be unhappy with the way the two handled the September 21 terrorist attack on Westgate Shopping Mall that claimed 70 lives including six members of the security forces.
Those poised to take the two powerful slots, according to sources, are Eng Michael Kamau, who is presently in charge of Transport and Infrastructure, and Ann Waiguru, the Devolution and Planning Secretary.
“It is just a matter of days before these changes are made. Most likely they will be effected before his trial at The Hague starts,” said a source highly placed in government. Uhuru’s trial at the Hague is scheduled to start on November 12.
Yesterday, the Star learned that the President is also toying with the idea of nominating UDF leader and former Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi into the Cabinet.
It is not clear yet which post Mudavadi is poised to take and if any of the present Cabinet Secretaries will be sacked.Mudavadi is a former Vice President and also served as the Local Government in the coalition government.
Sources told the Star that the inclusion of Mudavadi into the cabinet has however not gone down well with allies of Deputy President William Ruto.
In April, Uhuru had contemplated naming Mudavadi Interior Secretary but shelved the idea after opposition by some personalities in Ruto’s office.
The Interior and National Coordination docket covers what was formerly known as the Internal Security ministry as well as the Local Government ministry.
A week ago, Uhuru admitted that the Westgate rescue operation was bungled. The President made this admission when he visited the Recce Squad members at their Ruiru base and treated them to lunch.
Uhuru is said to be unhappy with the manner in which the Interior and the Defence ministries carried out the operation.
He reportedly is particularly unhappy about the (lack of) coordination between the police and Kenya Defence Forces in the operation, and conflicting information released to the public by various senior government officials during the crisis.
Uhuru nominated Ole Lenku as Cabinet Secretary on May 23. He was nominated alongside Labour Secretary Kazungu Kambi. The first batch of 16 Cabinet Secretaries had been named on April 23 and 25.
Ole Lenku was the Utalii College principal before he was appointed into the Cabinet. He holds Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Nairobi and a diploma in Hotel Management from Utalii College.
Omamo is a lawyer and was the first woman chairperson of the Law Society of Kenya and first woman ambassador of Kenya to France, Portugal, and the Republic of Serbia.
According to sources, the President has vowed to refocus on management of the country’s security and coordination of cabinet affairs.
It is for this reason he recently appointed former Treasury PS Joseph Kinyua Chief of Staff and Head of Public Service. Sources told the Star Uhuru settled on Kinyua as he is viewed as “very neutral”.
This was after two top security chiefs disagreed on who should hold the position. The Star learned that one arm of the security apparatus was pushing for the naming of Francis Kimemia who is the Secretary to the Cabinet as the new Chief Of Staff and Head of Public Service while the second arm was rooting for either Waiguru or Eng Kamau.