The President and his deputy are understood to have agreed on an expanded Cabinet of 22. Sources explained that President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto have agreed in principle to appoint 12 politicians and 10 technocrats to be drawn from both the current civil servants and the private sector.
Reports suggest that Uhuru and Ruto will each nominate 11 people – six politicians and five technocrats each – who will be vetted by the National Assembly’s Committee on Appointments. In the lead-up to the 2013 elections, Uhuru’s The National Alliance and Ruto’s United
Republican Party deposited a coalition agreement detailing how they would share power. However, with the dissolution of their parties to form Jubilee Party on whose ticket they vied in last year’s elections, the statutory requirement was not necessary but sources say the two leaders are keen to keep the arrangement in the spirit of their shared presidency.
Potential appointees The names of potential appointees were not immediately available but the list, according to sources, includes at least six serving Cabinet secretaries who are considered to have performed well in their dockets, although with a possibility of being shuffled. Credible sources have told The Standard that Uhuru has informed six CSs and 10 principal secretaries that they are being considered for re-appointment.
A principal secretary in one of the infrastructural ministries is likely to be elevated to the position of head of the civil service and the President’s chief of staff to replace Joseph Kinyua, who is said to have requested to retire. A former minister is also reportedly lined up for the secretary to the Cabinet post.
Reports suggest the expanded Cabinet was informed by the leaders’ desire to ensure inclusive appointments by drawing in as many appointees from various regions as the Constitution allows. The Constitution provides that the Cabinet consist of not fewer than 14 and not more than 22 Cabinet secretaries.
The President, the Deputy President, and the Attorney-General are the other members of the Cabinet. In his New Year speech, President Uhuru said he would make the Cabinet appointments “in the next few weeks”. “In the next few weeks, I will unveil the men and women to whom I will entrust delivery of the Big Four and other programmes that will transform this country,” the President said, referring to the four key pledges for his second and final term in office, namely food security, affordable housing, manufacturing, and affordable health care.
Planning overhaul “I will expect these men and women to serve Kenyans without partiality and with the very highest standard of integrity and efficiency. They must prove themselves worthy of the trust Kenyans will bestow on them,” he added.
The two Jubilee leaders are also expected to name principal secretaries (PSs) and diplomats in a balancing act that will take into consideration Uhuru’s legacy and the need to forge a united country following deeply divisive presidential elections.
The two leaders are also reportedly planning a major overhaul of the presidency (office of the President and that of the Deputy President), a move that may see some technocrats dropped and new blood injected as new aides. Uhuru and Ruto have indicated that they will reach out to the Opposition, seen as a charm offensive to calm the other side that has vowed never to recognise their presidency. On Jamhuri Day, Ruto said: “The journey ahead involves all of us.
No one should be left behind in nation-building. It must involve those in government and those outside government so that our tomorrow will be better than today and our future greater than the present.” The Standard has established that the presidency, through Mr Kinyua, released a circular urging all CSs, principal secretaries, and top government officials to proceed on leave until January 8.
They were further instructed to give their hand-in notes to Kinyua. This has since been downplayed by the President’s communication unit as routine practice. On Monday, Jubilee vice chairperson and President Kenyatta’s confidant David Murathe said that the president was likely to retain most his current Cabinet Secretaries even as poll losers lined up for the top jobs. “Most of the CSs have performed and I can tell you that the President will not be making major changes in the Cabinet.
He will not just replace CSs for the sake of doing it,” he said. In a previous interview Murathe explained that once the President has assembled his Cabinet, some of the ministers and PSs would be dropped based on their performance.