Monday, May 27, 2024

Cabinet shocker: Uhuru crafts legacy Cabinet and parastatal leadership

Cabinet shocker: Uhuru crafts legacy Cabinet and parastatal leadership

Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka and Chama Cha Mashinani’s Isaac Ruto Wednesday formally inked a cooperation deal with Jubilee, paving the way for a purge in the Executive and parastatals by President Kenyatta.

Nation has learnt that the President plans to bring more politicians into the Cabinet, with Wiper and Kanu parties expected to each bag a slot in a looming reshuffle, as the Head of State moves to streamline the government and shape his legacy.

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Mr Musyoka, who had been touted for a Cabinet slot, poured cold water on the reports, arguing that, that would require him to relinquish his party leader position.

With Wiper, Gideon Moi’s Kanu and Mr Ruto’s Chama Cha Mashinani parties now formally working with Jubilee through cooperation and coalition (Kanu), and the Raila Odinga-led ODM through the March 9, 2018 Handshake deal, President Kenyatta is reportedly now ready to reorganise his administration to bring in opposition members.

In what insiders say could be his “Cabinet shocker,” President Kenyatta’s shake-up will affect his close associates as well as those of Deputy President William Ruto.

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Gideon Moi had also been allocated a powerful Cabinet position, but since this will come with the complexity of organising for a by-election in his county, he is unlikely to take up such a job,” a source privy to the plans said.

Mr Kenyatta is said to be crafting a Cabinet model similar to what is expected in the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report currently being fine-tuned by the steering committee.

The first BBI document the President and Mr Odinga unveiled last November proposed a mixed Cabinet to be appointed by the President in consultation with the prime minister.

“That Cabinet shall draw its membership from Parliament and technocrats,” the report states.

It is based on this proposal that President Kenyatta reportedly plan to relieve a majority of the technocrats in the Cabinet of their jobs and replace them with individuals with a political background “who have proved to connect very well with the electorate.”

The BBI report also recommended a change of name from Cabinet Secretaries to Cabinet Ministers, and doing away with Chief Administrative Secretaries.

Other names being touted for Cabinet positions include; former MPs in regions where the President wants to consolidate support, such as Mt Kenya and Western.

Chairman of the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry Kiprono Kittony is also touted for a position from Mr Moi’s side as well as Kanu Secretary-General Nick Salat.

Dr Olga Karani, formerly a board member at the Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis and a political operative is also being mentioned.

“Chama Cha Mashinani leader and former Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto had also been approached and it is still not clear whether he has agreed to take up a position or will recommend an ally,” another source familiar with the planned reorganisation of government disclosed.

He said CCM could front former Kuresoi MP Zakayo Cheruiyot for a senior position.

He previously served as Internal Security PS in the Moi government.

“The reason the President is keen on bringing on board the politicians to substitute the many technocrats currently in the Cabinet is that politicians are proving to be very competent. It is an issue of competence. Politicians seem to know what people want and have good relations with other government institutions, like Parliament,” another source said.

Jubilee Vice Chairman David Murathe yesterday pointed out that his party was not a “house breaker” and would not push for dissolution of parties.

“What we want is cooperation in Parliament and outside Parliament,” he said.

Highly placed sources in Government told the Nation that after his successful changes in Jubilee party, Senate and National Assembly leadership, President Kenyatta is now set to reorganise his administration and parastatals. “These changes will be made very soon…”

“Already several parastatal chiefs and board members have been earmarked for removal and a new set will be gazetted as soon as possible,” the source said.

The Senate and National Assembly leadership has been informed of the impending changes and are preparing for vetting.

Senate Majority Chief Whip Irungu Kang’ata was however, non-committal on this, but confirmed the impending Cabinet reshuffle.

“Yes, indeed there will be a Cabinet reshuffle. Cabinet secretaries and permanent secretaries who do not add value to the government will be axed. Under a pure Presidential system like Kenya, the pleasure doctrine applies,” Mr Kang’ata said.

“That means they can be hired and fired anytime by President. Some have been mentioned in corruption scandals, while some are incompetent. Some don’t add political value.”

Mr Kang’ata, whose political star and connections have been bolstered following the axing of Senators Kipchumba Murkomen (Elgeyo Marakwet) and Susan Kihika (Nakuru) from the positions of Senate Majority Leader and Majority Chief Whip, respectively, also disclosed that the purge will move to parastatals.

“Some Chief Executive Officers of these state bodies have been working in collaboration with forces bent on frustrating His Excellency’s agenda,” he said.

“Some of them will not only be axed, but they will be charged in court and application to seize their assets lodged in court,” Mr Kang’ata added.

Against sackings

A senior Cabinet secretary told the Nation that the movements have been ongoing and it’s a matter of time before the CSs are moved and some sacked.

Mr Salat did not confirm or deny reports that he could soon land a Cabinet slot, but said he was aware of the impending changes.

He said: “For sure, Cabinet is next in H.E.’s (President Kenyatta’s) purge to ensure he has a team that is on course and ready to deliver on his legacy.”

Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro, an ally of DP Ruto, had earlier cautioned against sackings based on vendetta, saying, changes should be based on service.


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