United Democratic Alliance (UDA) chairman Johnson Muthama and the party’s chief agent Josphat Nanok are among key faces that missed out in President William Ruto’s 22-member Cabinet that was unveiled yesterday. Mr Muthama was Dr Ruto’s key point man in the Ukambani region.
Mr Nanok, who was the director-general of the Kenya Kwanza Alliance presidential campaign team, was a key figure in Dr Ruto’s secretariat and a common face at the Bomas of Kenya as one of the chief agents for Kenya Kwanza. During campaigns, Mr Nanok was mandated to chair and coordinate the activities of all formations to ensure synergy and coherence.
In Nyanza, former Migori governor Okoth Obado, who braved ODM leader Raila Odinga’s wave in the region to stand by Ruto, also missed out on a Cabinet position. Mr Obado has been Ruto’s point man in the region and was largely expected to make it to the Cabinet.
The situation was the same for those who rushed to sign post-election agreements with Dr Ruto such as Ugenya MP David Ochieng and former Kisii Governor James Ongwae.
However, Eliud Owalo, also a Ruto ally from the region, was rewarded with the communication docket, subject to approval by Parliament.
In the Mt Kenya region, Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro was touted as a potential Cabinet Secretary but failed to make the cut.
Also missing from the list was Prof David Ndii, the man behind the bottom-up economic model on which Dr Ruto anchored his campaigns.
The economist led the team that coordinated all county-based bottom-up economic forums that later developed the 47 county economic charters that were merged into the Kenya Kwanza manifesto, which was launched on June 30.
Mandera Senator Ali Roba, who also signed a post-election pact with President Ruto, did not feature in the appointments. It is now a wait-and-see situation whether he will be given a Senate committee to chair or whether any of the seven MPs elected under his party will get committee leadership slots in the National Assembly.
Mr Roba is the party leader of the United Democratic Movement (UDM), which won two governor positions, seven parliamentary seats and 35 Member of the County Assembly seats in the August 9 General Election.
Another big loser is former Nairobi governor Mike Sonko, who ditched Azimio for Kenya Kwanza and revealed that he had been promised appointive positions. Mr Sonko tweeted in July after meeting with the President (Deputy President at the time) about the goodies he had been promised if Ruto won.
“Below are positions offered to me and my people as captured in the engagement agreement/MoU: one CS, national government; three PSs, national government; four ambassadors; three CECs, Mombasa County; three chief officers, Mombasa County; two CECs, Nairobi County; and three chief officers in Mombasa County,” Mr Sonko posted.
“With your blessings, I would want to get into this agreement with UDA so that I can be assured of jobs and opportunities for my Mombasa and Nairobi people.”
Mr Katoo ole Metito, who vied for the Kajiado gubernatorial seat but lost to ODM candidate Joseph ole Lenku, also missed out on the opportunity to serve in the Cabinet. The same fate befell Hassan Omar, who also lost the Mombasa gubernatorial race to ODM candidate Abdulswamad Nassir.
Mr Nicholas Gumbo, who ran for Siaya governor on Mr Roba’s UDM ticket, was also expected to feature in the Cabinet but did not make it.