Election losers, technocrats fighting for 60 Principal Secretary positions


Senior civil servants, former MPs, a former governor, technocrats as well as current and former parastatal chiefs are among those eyeing Principal Secretary positions.

A draft shortlisted by the Public Service Commission (PSC) and obtained by The Standard reveals the individuals are among 120 persons who have been shortlisted from a list of over 4,000 applicants.

Top officials who have applied include Coast Region County Co-ordinator Nelson Marwa, Deputy President William Ruto’s chief of staff Ken Osinde and Amos Gatheca, Security and Operations secretary in the Office of the President.

Scores of politicians who lost in the August elections are also hoping to make a comeback to public office as technocrats in President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Government.

Former politicians

They include former Laikipa Governor Joshua Irungu, former Kajiado Senator Peter ole Mositet, ex-MPs Moses ole Sakuda (Kajaido West), Benjamin Langat (Ainamoi), Alice Ng’ang’a (Thika Town), Danson Mungatana (Garsen), Augostino Neto (Ndhiwa), Ken Obura (Kisumu Central), Njogu Barua (Gichugu), Humphrey Njuguna (Gatanga), Sanjeev Birdi (nominated) and former women reps Tiya Galgalo (Isiolo) and Wanjiku Muhia (Nyandarua).

Former Mombasa Deputy Governor Hazel Katana, Narok governor losers Musuni Tiampati and Patrick ole Ntutu, and ex-PS John Konchellah have also made it to the list of 120.

Current CEOs eying a promotion are Fazul Mahamed of the NGO Co-ordination Board, Jonah Orumoi of Tourism Finance Corporation, Julius Juan of Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development, National Transport and Safety Authority’s Francis Meja, Nixon Sigey of New Kenya Co-operative Creameries, Lucas Messo of Agriculture Finance Corporation, Mzalendo Kibunjia of National Museums of Kenya and National Aids Control Council Executive Director Nduku Kilonzo.

Others are Malaqueen Milgo (Athi Water Services Board), Director of Public Communication Dennis Chebitwey and sports administrator Gordon Oluoch.

National Cohesion and Integration Commission member Gitile Naitule, Victor Okioma, who heads the Rehabilitation and Integration Department at Harambee House, Ministry of Lands Director of Physical Planning Augustine Masinde and ex-head of Operation Linda Boni James ole Serian are also on the shortlist.

Former PS Beatrice Kituyi is seeking a comeback to the same position she held under the grand coalition government, while former electoral commission official Mohamed Alawi, former Lands secretary Zablon Mabea, former National Hospital Insurance Fund CEO Simeon ole Kirgotty, ex-Kenya Tourism Board boss Ndegwa Murithi, former Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company chief Philip Gichuki, former Nairobi Town Clerk Philip Kisia, former Kenya Broadcasting Corporation MD Waithaka Waihenya, ex-National Social Security Fund Managing Trustee Tom Odongo, and ex-Kenya Sugar Board boss Rosemary Mkok are also eyeing positions.

Former Mining Principal Secretary Patrick Omutia, who stepped aside in 2015 after he was included on a ‘list of shame’ but recently made a comeback as the deputy president’s adviser, has also been shortlisted.

According to PSC sources, the list will be published in local newspapers between today (Friday) and Monday. The interviews are set to commence by the end of next week. The commission will send a list of only 60 qualified individuals to State House.

Current PSs were not required to re-apply because they had already been interviewed by the commission, but should the President desire to retain some, he will submit their names to Parliament for approval.

The commission led by Margaret Kobia advertised the positions in August and gave interested parties a September 1 deadline for application.

The applicants were not required to indicate a preferred department as the commission stated that it intended to give the President a ‘pool’ from which he could nominate.

Article 155(3)(a) of the Constitution requires the PSC to recommend persons for nomination and appointment as principal secretaries by the President.

Unlike Cabinet secretaries who are picked and their names forwarded to Parliament for vetting and approval, the PSs must undergo a rigorous process.


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