More drama as Ruto drops PS nominee Faith Njeri Harrison after 10 days

Former Kiambu Chief Finance Officer Faith Njeri Harrison.

Photo credit: File I Nation Media Group

President William Ruto has dropped Faith Njeri Harrison as the Principal Secretary (PS) nominee for Performance Management and Delivery Services and instead nominated Anne Wangombe.

Salome Muhia-Beacco will become the Correctional Services PS if approved by MPs.

The president had last week said he had nominated Ms Njeri's name for vetting by Parliament.

But on Wednesday, without explanation, the president said he was nominating Ms Wang'ombe for the same position, without Ms Njeri's name.

Ms Njeri, a former Kiambu County Finance Chief Officer, was in 2019 arrested while in possession of fake dollars.

State department of Correctional Services is turning out to be a jinxed sector in President Ruto's nascent administration.

The two Principal Secretary (PS) nominations follow a reshuffle in the government affecting several PSs less than three weeks ago.

Ms Beacco’s nomination follows the resignation of former PS Esther Ngero on May 23, 2023 following a reshuffle a week earlier.

Before her resignation, Ms Ngero had just replaced Ms Mary Muthoni who was moved to the State department of Public Health and Professional Standards.

Ms Beacco is the fourth name to be associated with the position and if approved by MPs, will be the third occupant of the position in just six months.

In the inaugural list of 51 PSs nominees submitted to the National Assembly by the Head of State for vetting and approval by Ruto, Ms Caroline Nyawira Murage was nominated to the Correctional Services post.

However, the wife of Ndia MP George Kariuki later rejected the nomination before the vetting exercise in November last year after backlash from the public.

She would write to the President requesting for the withdrawal of her nomination as confirmed by Speaker Moses Wetang’ula.

This paved the way for Ms Muthoni, Women in Business chief executive officer, to be nominated as a replacement ahead of the vetting.

In the other nomination, President Ruto selected Ms Anne Njoki Wang’ombe to be the new PS for the State department for Performance Management and Delivery Services in the Office of the Prime Cabinet Secretary.

This comes just a week after the President had nominated former Ms Njeri Harrison to the same position after reassigning Ms Ngero.

The communication by Head of Public Service Mr Felix Koskei was silent on any explanation on why Ms Harrison was dropped. The ex-CFO was in 2019 arrested while in possession of fake dollars.

“His Excellency the President has, on the recommendation of the Public Service Commission, nominated candidates for appointment to the rank of principal secretary,” read in part the communication by Mr Koskei dated May 31, 2023.

“The nominees, if granted the seal of approval by Parliament, will join the senior ranks of the Executive,” added the statement.

Ms Beacco is an advocate of the High Court of 26 years standing and holds a Masters of Law degree in Leadership and governance from the University of Nairobi (UoN).

The nominee has served in various management roles within the following corporations Bamburi Cement Company Limited, AIG Insurance Company Limited, Phoenix of East Africa Insurance Company Limited, ICEA Insurance.

On the other hand, Ms Wang’ombe is a human resource practitioner and educationist with experience spanning three decades.

She is currently serving as the manager, Kenya Revenue Authority Staff Pension Scheme (KRASPS), a position she has held since 2018.

Previously, she served as the lead human resources consultant for Mannion Daniels Africa Limited and as the assistant director, human Resources and Administration at the Kenya Medical Research Institute.

She holds a master’s degree in Education administration and planning from the UoN.

“The President has transmitted the nominations to the National Assembly for consideration by Parliament, in fulfilment of the legal requirements set out under our supreme law,” said Mr Koskei.