In Summary
  • Uhuru challenged the new appointees to ensure that there are more affordable roofs over the heads of Kenyans.
  • He made it clear to them that he expected them to perform to high standards to meet the expectations of Kenyans and shun corruption.

President Uhuru Kenyatta spared neither love or sweet words for the nine Cabinet Secretaries who were sworn in at State House, Nairobi, on Friday.

He minced no words when he spelt out what he expected from the new members of his team, who now completes his line-up after they were cleared by Parliament on Wednesday.

He made it clear to them that he expected them to perform to high standards to meet the expectations of Kenyans and shun corruption.

“High office is not a platform, and I repeat, it is not a platform for self-actualisation and pandering to ego,” he warned them.

“It is a rare calling, a precious honour bestowed on so very few; it is a call to service with honour and integrity; to servant leadership, to sacrifice, to collective accountability and responsibility; and above all it is about selflessness in order to guarantee growth and prosperity.”

BIG FOUR AGENDA
And to those who thought that this would be a walk in the park, Mr Kenyatta had this to say:

“It is now business unusual, not business as usual.”

He also warned those who do not feel that they are up to the task: “Should you at any time feel the weight is too much, just say so.”

It was a warning shot to the new entrants as well as those who were appointed and retained from his first Cabinet.

“I look forward to a Cabinet that shall be selfless in service, unimpeachable integrity, dedication to duty and unmatched excellence, especially in bringing to fruition our Big Four agenda,” the President said.

During his inauguration address after being declared winner of the October 26 repeat presidential election, Mr Kenyatta unveiled four key agenda that he intends to pursue in his second term: Affordable housing, increased healthcare, manufacturing and fighting hunger.

PRODUCTIVITY
He challenged the new appointees to ensure that there are more affordable roofs over the heads of Kenyans, better healthcare, value-addition and jobs for youths and ensure that “hunger becomes a story of the past”.

And he gave his team two big assignments: The first was to ensure that the “Big Four” agenda of his second and final term in office is implemented and the second will be to deliver “a better, freer and more prosperous Kenya” for all citizens.

“I believe we have set a strong foundation and now our nation stands ready and poised in its unstoppable march towards sustainable priority, unity, stability and the realisation of all the hopes and dreams of any single Kenyan and also future generations,” he said.

Prof Margaret Kobia, the CS for Gender and Youth Affairs, was the first to be thrown into the deep end.

“Margaret, ndege iko pale (the aircraft is waiting). Prepare yourself; twende kazi Naivasha (let's go to work in Naivasha),” the President said, alluding to the passing-out parade for National Youth Service recruits in Gilgil.

EMPLOYMENT
Others sworn in were: Mr John Munyes (Petroleum and Mining), Dr Monica Juma (Foreign Affairs and International Trade), Mr Keriako Tobiko (Environment and Forestry), Mr Simon Chelugui (Water and Sanitation), Mr Rashid Achesa (Sports and Heritage), Ms Farida Karoney (Lands and Physical Planning), Mr Ukur Yattany (Labour and Social Protection) and Mr Peter Munya (East African Community and Northern Corridor Development).

At Gilgil, he directed that 100,000 acres of the Galana Kulalu complex, and the model NIB farm in the Tana Delta, be allocated to the Service. 

“To further bolster the resolve to engage the youth in gainful employment, I have directed the NYS to spearhead the revival of the cotton industry and to put its vast land parcels into viable use,” President Kenyatta said.

“The revival of the cotton industry beginning with Galana-Kulalu will open up substantial new opportunities and help spur economic growth as envisaged in the Big 4 agenda,” the President added.

In his official address, President Kenyatta was upbeat that measures being undertaken by the national government would immensely contribute to the country’s industrialisation programme.