Uhuru considers Kidero, Khalwale, Serem for Cabinet


Uhuru considers Kidero, Khalwale, Serem for CabinetFormer Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero and former Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale are among Opposition stalwarts who are being considered for inclusion in the Cabinet.

They are among people who previously supported Raila but who have been shortlisted in an attempt to give the Cabinet a national outlook.

The list of women tipped for Cabinet secretaries includes former Kenyatta University Vice Chancellor Olive Mugenda, former head of the Salaries and Remuneration Commission Sarah Serem and former Teso South MP Mary Emase, a close ally of Deputy President William Ruto.

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Foreign Affairs CS Amina Mohamed and her PS Monica Juma are highly tipped for Cabinet positions.

Another surprise inclusion on the list of those being considered is Raila’s cousin and immediate former Gem MP, Jakoyo Midiwo.

Like Kidero’s his inclusion is being viewed as an attempt to wreck the Opposition, especially Raila’s strong base of Nyanza.

The Opposition has been alert to a possible raid on its ranks and suspects the piecemeal unveiling of the Cabinet is a strategy to lure its members.

The stealthy moves are likely to rattle the Opposition, which has kept off the President’s Cabinet plans and instead demanded dialogue over electoral justice as it prepares to swear in Raila as the People’s President later this month.

Sources close to the presidency told the Star yesterday that the former Deputy Leader of Minority was being considered although no one had talked to him.

“I’m not interested,” Midiwo told the Star when contacted. Midiwo has reportedly been bitter with another cousin Oburu Oginga, whom he blames for the loss of his seat.

Proposing Jakoyo comes after the chairman of the Kenya National Education Council professor George Magoha reportedly turned down offers to succeed either Fred Matiang’i at the ministry of Education or Cleopa Mailu at Health.

Both Midiwo and Magoha come from the same Gem region.

Khalwale had been approached immediately he lost his Senate seat to work with the Jubilee Party in the October 26 presidential rerun. He declined.

Asked if he had been contacted, he told the Star, “I took my position. We may not be in government but we are not desperate. We made a very big step on October 26 when we (Luhya) gave Jubilee only 5 per cent of the vote.”

The details of Jubilee’s forays emerged yesterday even as Baringo Senator Gideon Moi defused speculation that he was poised to join the Cabinet. Moi spoke a day after the Star published the story of behind-the-scenes manoeuvres in the formation of the Cabinet.

Sources said he had been toying with the idea but had decided to pass the chance to his close allies instead. Insiders say among the likely beneficiaries of Moi’s decision is Kiprono Kittony, the chairman of the Kenya Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Uhuru is keeping the appointments close to his chest, involving Ruto and aides only partially.

The Star has also established that among those on the list of “potentials” from Nyanza and Western Kenya region for the few slots include former Karachuonyo MP James Rege, former Rongo MP Dalmas Otieno and former Teso South MP Mary Emase. Others are former Meru governor Peter Munya, former Taita Taveta Women Rep Joyce Lay and Jubilee Secretary General Raphael Tuju.

Kidero has been quiet since he lost the coveted city Governor’s title to Jubilee’s Mike Sonko in the August 8 polls which he claimed were rigged.

On Tuesday, two petitioners — believed to proxies of the former governor — who had challenged Sonko’s victory dropped from the case, decrying threats to their lives.

The 60-year-old Mang’u High School alumnus graduated from University of Nairobi with a degree in pharmacy and a Master’s in Business Administration at the Nairobi-based United States International University. Although a member of the Raila-led ODM party, he has always been viewed as a man not at ease, owing to his perceived interest in succeeding Raila as de facto leader of the Luo constituency.

A fierce critic of the Jubilee administration, the former Kakamega senator and Ford Kenya deputy party leader is a surprise Cabinet prospect that counters Jubilee’s attempts to slice Western Kenya from the opposition.

Khalwale was conspicuously absent from NASA’s People’s Assembly in his Kakamega home turf on Sunday. He later complained to the Star about what transpired, “How can two senators give Raila a Bible and no one, not his aides or the other leaders, could stop that?”

The once-upon-a-time chairman of the Parliamentary Accounts Committee is known for his zeal in fighting high-profile graft. He graduated from the University of Nairobi with a degree in Medicine in 1981 and made his debut in Parliament in 2002 as MP for Ikolomani on the NARC party.

He retained the seat on New Ford Kenya in 2007 before becoming the first Senator of Kakamega in 2013. In 2017 he ran for the governor’s seat but lost to incumbent Governor Wycliffe Oparanya

Munya, the former chairman of the Council of Governors, was bound to be rewarded for abandoning NASA and withdrawing his case against Governor Kiraitu Murungi.

He ran on the PNU ticket after winning the war against forces who wanted the party to fold up and join President Uhuru Kenyatta’s JP.

On Friday last week, Uhuru retained six Cabinet Secretaries and nominated three others in his first list, promising to name others in due course.

Uhuru also dropped Ndegwa Muhoro as Director of Criminal Investigations and replaced him with National Police Service spokesman, Assistant Inspector General George Kinoti.

He also dropped Joel Kitili and Samuel Arachi as Deputy Inspectors General in charge of Kenya Police and Administration Police, respectively, replacing them with Edward Njoroge Mbugua and Noor Gabow.

While Uhuru is reportedly looking for credible individuals to steer his legacy projects — and who can carry the weight of the government’s in opposition strongholds that largely boycotted the October 26 poll — Ruto is keen on establishing influential regional allies that could help his 2022 bid.

The nomination of former Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko is also viewed as a carrot for the Maasai community where NASA received substantial votes in the last election. The Maasai have always been seen as a swing vote between the two leading political outfits.

Tobiko was out of Nairobi when he was summoned to State House early Friday morning and offered the resign-and-be-appointed solution to the stand-off with DCI head Ndegwa Muhoro. He takes the political space of the late Cabinet Secretary for Interior and national coordination Joseph Nkaissery.


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