In Summary
  • Many were left with mouths agape at the large number of casualties.
  • Mr Kenyatta left little doubt that it was all about securing his legacy.

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday shocked and surprised his handlers and allies alike when he unveiled nine nominees to the Cabinet and sacked 13 others.

The President dropped all the women in his earlier Cabinet, naming only men in his first nine appointments.

Unlike in 2013, Deputy President William Ruto was not at his side when the President made the shocking announcement that he would only retain only six of his 18 CSs.

OUTWITTED

Close allies from Parliament and the presidency said they had been outwitted by the head of State who had earlier indicated that he would be naming his Cabinet “in the coming weeks”.

Many were left with mouths agape at the large number of casualties with some regions protesting after their sons and daughters were dropped.

Some of the leaders interviewed said the President’s move was “a massive bloodbath”.

All the five women CSs; Raychelle Omamo, Sicily Kariuki, Phyllis Kandie, Amina Mohamed and Judi Wakhungu were dropped. One of Ms Mohamed’s contribution during Mr Kenyatta’s first term in office was to rally the international community against the International Criminal Court, where both Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto were facing charges of crimes against humanity.

TOBIKO

However, it is the inclusion of the Director of Public Prosecution, Mr Keriako Tobiko, the head of a constitutional organ, that got tongues wagging on what Mr Kenyatta’s intentions could be and whether he was reaching out to the Maasai community following the demise of Interior CS Joseph Nkaissery, just weeks to the General Election last August.

However, the post of CS for the Interior and Co-ordination of the National Government was given to Dr Fred Matiang’i, who was appointed acting Education CS.

“I have today accepted the resignation of Mr Keriako Tobiko as Director of Public Prosecution under Article 158 (ix) of the Constitution of Kenya 2010,” the President said before announcing that Mr Tobiko would be in his Cabinet.

The nomination of former Marsabit Governor Ukur Yattani also meant that the fate of Sports minister Hassan Wario was sealed because the two hail from the same region.

A former Jubilee candidate for Turkana gubernatorial race, Mr John Munyes, was also nominated. He and the other nominees will be waiting for vetting by Parliament before they can be formally appointed.

LAST ELECTIONS

His appointment is in keeping with the ruling party’s plans to win all the pastoralist communities to its side after a lackluster performance in Turkana in the last elections.

Opposition candidate Raila Odinga obtained more votes than Mr Kenyatta there.  It would also appear that Mr Munyes’ recent trip to State House when he led a delegation from the region paid off.

Mr Kenyatta left little doubt that it was all about securing his legacy. Earlier in the day, he had set the tone for his plan of action at the launch of book distribution to primary and secondary schools when he said that he would pick a lean team comprising individuals who do not condone graft.

“Some of the changes I am proposing during my final term is to come down hard on individuals who are abusing our systems for personal gain,” Mr Kenyatta said at a meeting in Karen earlier Friday.

“They must change or step aside because the time to laugh over these issues is over. There are many Kenyans willing to serve in public positions.”

WILLIAM RUTO

In a departure from 2013 when the president and his Deputy William Ruto paraded their Cabinet nominees in an elaborate ceremony marked by fanfare, Mr Ruto was missing in action.

He travelled to India and is reported to have returned Friday but Mr Kenyatta did not explain his deputy’s whereabouts during his televised addressed from State House, Nairobi.

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