In Summary
  • When he named the first six nominees for CS positions on January 5, President Kenyatta was categorical that he had retained only six ministers,
  • On Friday, Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Willy Bett and his Water and Irrigation counterpart Eugene Wamalwa held a day-long meeting with Deputy President William Ruto at his Karen office.

  • When he named his partial Cabinet on January 5, President Kenyatta had omitted all those serving in the current dockets aligned to the “Big Four” agenda in his first nine-member team.

  • Mr Kiunjuri has since taken a low profile with staff at the Devolution Ministry saying he has been reporting regularly to his office at the Treasury Building.

The 13 Cabinet Secretaries whose names were missing from President Uhuru Kenyatta’s recent partial list of a new team are engaged in an intense behind-the-scenes fight for survival ahead of the unveiling of the full Cabinet expected this week.

President Kenyatta had been expected to name the full Cabinet before leaving the country for South Africa on Thursday, according to senior officials who spoke to the Nation in confidence, but he shelved the plan after what was said to be inconclusive talks with Deputy President William Ruto.

When he named the first six nominees for CS positions on January 5, President Kenyatta was categorical that he had retained only six ministers, leading to the conclusion that he had fired the remaining 13 — but they were given a lifeline hours later when State House clarified they would remain in office until the full list was unveiled. It is this window that has given room to intense lobbying in the last week.

“It is like being somewhere between heaven and hell — not a very comfortable place,” said an aide of one of the Cabinet Secretaries in limbo who is still hopeful of being reappointed.

RETAIN POSITION

On Saturday, during the burial of the Alice Wambui Gicharu, the mother of Mount Kenya University founder and Chairman Simon Gicharu, in Githunguri, Kiambu County, Water Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa hinted at the anxiety facing him and his colleagues when he quipped that he needed to resolve the residents’ complaints since he wanted to retain his position.

“I’ll do all I can to resolve the problem, you know I’m still looking for a job so I must be seen to be working,” he said.

The event was attended by Deputy President William Ruto.  

The retained Cabinet Secretaries include Dr Fred Matiang’i (Interior and acting Education ministry), Najib Balala (Tourism), Joe Mucheru (ICT), James Macharia (Transport), Charles Keter (Energy) and Henry Rotich (National Treasury).

The remaining ministers spent last week engaging in their respective ministerial duties, obviously energised by an announcement from State House last Saturday that they still remain in office.

The statement released by State House spokesman Manoah Esipisu appears to have been intended to correct the impression, at least for the time being, that they had been relieved of their duties.

“I have reported to work as usual. I also attended a meeting on the budget priorities for the Big Four to ensure that Jubilee’s agenda for the next five years succeeds without a hitch,” Land Cabinet Secretary Prof Jacob Kaimenyi told the Nation.

DAY-LONG MEETING

On Friday, Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Willy Bett and his Water and Irrigation counterpart Eugene Wamalwa held a day-long meeting with Deputy President William Ruto at his Karen office.

It was the second meeting on Strategy and Action Plan for the delivery of Jubilee’s food security pillar, listed by President Kenyatta as one of his major priority areas in his second and final term in office.

When he named his partial Cabinet on January 5, President Kenyatta had omitted all those serving in the current dockets aligned to the “Big Four” agenda in his first nine-member team.

He also removed urban and housing development from Mr Macharia’s ministry, lending credence to the speculation that he could create a full-fledged ministry to run the Big Four theme.

Foreign Affairs CS Amina Mohamed, one of the 13 waiting to see if they will retain their job, was on President Kenyatta’s entourage to South Africa on Thursday alongside Principal Secretary Monica Juma.

Ms Mohamed had last Saturday represented President Kenyatta during the burial of Harvard University’s Prof Calestous Juma alongside her Environment counterpart Judi Wakhungu whose fate also hangs in the balance.

PLASTIC BAGS

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