List of President Uhuru advisers grows


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UHUWESTGATE_PIXPresident Uhuru Kenyatta has appointed 20 special advisers in the 18 months he has been in power, raising questions about the various roles they play alongside Cabinet secretaries.

Even though few of them are known to the public, most of the advisers are based at Harambee House — the Office of the President — while some have been attached to Deputy President William Ruto’s office, working full-time.

This is a departure from his predecessors, Mr Mwai Kibaki and Mr Daniel arap Moi, who had few advisers, with most of them experts in specific professions.


The current advisers all have official government vehicles, drivers and bodyguards.

They are a blend of experienced high-ranking officials from former Mr Kibaki’s government and the so-called digital generation — young, technology-savvy individuals who played a major role in Mr Kenyatta’s successful presidential campaign.

According to the State House website, Ms Nancy Gitau is listed as senior political adviser in charge of the Office of Political Affairs at the Executive Office of the presidency.

“The Senior Political Adviser will provide technical advice to the President, including contributing to the formulation of strategic approaches and coordinated programmatic inputs with regard to political matters,” it reads.

“(She) will provide the President with regular briefs and policy positions with regard to political matters. He/She will regularly consult with the political parties, Governors and County Assemblies on direction by the President and advise on the same,” it adds.

Ms Gitau has been in the news over wrangling in the presidency, accused by allies of Deputy President Ruto of being one of the Kibaki-era officials who “fixed” Mr Ruto by providing information leading to his indictment by the International Criminal Court.

Former Cherangany MP Joshua Kutuny is also a presidential adviser working under Ms Gitau.

“Nancy Gitau is the senior adviser on political affairs and I’m the director of political affairs. I work under her and we are both based at Harambee House. I work on a full-time basis, from Monday to Monday,” he said.

Former Mandera Central MP Abdikadir Mohammed, one of the first advisers to be appointed, in is in charge of the Office of Constitutional and Legislative Affairs in the Executive Office of the President.


“The Senior Constitutional and Legislative Adviser will provide technical advice to the President, including contributing to the formulation of strategic approaches and coordinated programmatic inputs that support the implementation of the Constitution,” the job description reads.

It is, however, silent on how the holder of the office will relate to Attorney-General Githu Muigai and Solicitor-General Njee Muturi in advising the President on constitutional and legal issues.

Other advisers include former Education assistant minister Kilemi Mwiria, who was appointed only last month as a presidential adviser on Education, shortly after presenting the report of a task force on school financing. He is based at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre.

Mr James Nyoro, who unsuccessfully contested the Kiambu governor’s seat in the last elections, is the presidential adviser on Agriculture and Food Security and is based at Harambee Annexe.

Former Cabinet minister in the Moi and Kibaki governments Joe Nyagah is the presidential adviser in charge of regional integration.

“I am appointed by the President but I operate under Amina (Mohammed, Cabinet secretary, Foreign Affairs), I am not in the category of Anne Gitau or Kilemi Mwiria. I operate from Foreign Affairs, I do not have a performance contract, mine is a very practical job. I work with 12 ministers,” he told the Sunday Nation.

“My official title is national coordinator, Northern Corridor Integration Project. All the other three countries under the northern corridor — Uganda, Rwanda and Southern Sudan — have appointed national coordinators, all former ministers who understand how government works. We give advice to the Executive, which is the President and the Cabinet,” he added.

Another presidential adviser is Dr Mbui Wagacha, who is in charge of Economic Affairs.


Mr Kenyatta has also appointed a former legal adviser in the Office of the Deputy President, Korir Sing’oei, to head the Office of Legislative and Inter-Governmental Public Engagement. The unit has three departments, with Legislative Affairs headed by Jasper Mbiuki, while the Parliamentary Affairs division is led by former Kisauni MP Anania Mwaboza. Public policy expert Patita Tingoi heads the inter-governmental affairs department.

Prof Hiroyuki Hino, an economic consultant in Mr Ruto’s office, used to serve in the same capacity under former Prime Minister Raila Odinga. He was seconded by the United Nations Development Programme to improve governance and trigger economic growth.

Mr Odinga also had advisers like the late Dr Adhu Awiti (political), lawyer Paul Mwangi (constitutional affairs), Mr Silvester Kasuku (infrastructure) and Dr George Outa (communications and strategy).

President Kibaki’s special advisers from outside the mainstream civil service included Prof Kivutha Kibwana, now the Makueni governor, on coalition affairs, and Mr Stanley Murage, who served as adviser on strategic policy.

Mr Moi had only the late Philip Ndegwa, a former Central Bank of Kenya governor, as his known adviser on economic issues. He, however, relied mostly on the advice of various experts who served as civil servants in his government.

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