Game plan: 50 CAS nominees in President Ruto’s 2027 juggernaut

Former Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero when he led a group of Nyanza leaders who decamped from ODM to UDA.

Former Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero when he led a group of Nyanza leaders who decamped from ODM to UDA.

Photo credit: Pool

The 2027 re-election game plan was at the heart of President William Ruto’s decision to increase the number of Chief Administrative Secretaries (CAS) from the initial 23 to a record 50 positions as he struggled to achieve regional balance while rewarding his loyalists, Saturday Nation has learnt.

Dr Ruto is said to have been faced with a tough balancing act of seeking to retain his loyalists while dolling out government jobs to Opposition chief Raila Odinga’s bastions.

In a move to counter Mr Odinga’s narrative that his administration is only for two communities that propelled Kenya Kwanza to power, the President nominated a record number of CAS in what his allies said was meant to achieve regional balance.

Analyses of the list revealed that most of the 47 counties got at least one CAS slot. State House had initially asked the Public Service Commission to create 23 positions, but the President ended up nominating an additional 27.

In Luo Nyanza, which is Mr Odinga’s political bastion, Homa Bay governor race loser Evans Kidero, former Kisumu senator Fred Outa and former Rarieda MP Nicholas Gumbo were nominated amid revelations that their consideration for government jobs formed part of their deliberations with the President at State House on Tuesday.

Dr Kidero, Eng. Gumbo and Mr Outa attended the meeting that sources told Saturday Nation also discussed how the rebels can help Dr Ruto to remove Mr Odinga from the political scene.

The politicians who attended the meeting also disclosed that the President promised to push for key development projects in the region as part of his plans of endearing himself to residents who barely voted for him in the last presidential election.

“The President is determined to have Raila exit the political scene by making our people feel part and parcel of his administration. Some of the appointments are part of his plans to demonstrate to Nyanza people that they do not need Raila for them to benefit from government services,” said the source.

Nyanza beneficiaries

Besides the three, Nyanza also produced former Kisii deputy governor Joash Maangi, Vincent Kemosi Mogaka and ex-Migori Assembly minority leader Nicholas Rioba to the CAS list.

Mr Odinga’s allies-turned-foes Jack Ranguma and Odoyo Owidi were also recently appointed as chairman and board member of the Sacco Societies Regulatory Authority and the Lake Victoria South Water Works Development Agency, respectively.

But Mr Outa refuted assertions that their State House meeting could have influenced their appointments. He said they were equally surprised as they did not expect their nomination to serve in the Kenya Kwanza administration.

“When we met with the President at the State House, we discussed how to develop our region and not about individual appointments. It is the prerogative of the President to make appointments. No one has the power to push him to make certain decisions. The appointments are a surprise to most of us because we never discussed the issue with him,” said Mr Outa.

Mr Owidi, for his part, said the recent appointments are a demonstration that the President is committed to developing the whole country. He disclosed that Dr Ruto committed to serving Nyanza just like other regions. “He has demonstrated that he keeps his word. It is clear the President has not abandoned the people who have stood by him. You judge people not by what they do to you but by what they do to others. When we met, he said he would treat our region fairly like any other part of the country,” said Mr Owidi.

Although Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua yesterday, in an interview, said the CAS will help in turning around the economy, Saturday Nation understands that most of those picked from Azimio strongholds will help in selling President Ruto’s one-party dream in preparation for the next general election.

“This country has a lot of work of reviving the economy and that is why the government needs a big team that will be dispersed across the world to look for markets for our products,” said Mr Gachagua, adding that those who have been nominated are individuals who understand the bottom-up agenda well and cannot sabotage the government.

Nyaribari Chache MP Zaheer Jhanda, a key ally of Dr Ruto, said besides effective service delivery, a big team was settled on to unite the country so that no region whines that they have been left out.

“The presidency is a symbol of national unity and that means the Kenya Kwanza government has to serve all Kenyans regardless of their political affiliations; that is the main reason why the boss (Dr Ruto) had to give almost every county a CAS.

The 50 CAS who have been appointed will help in service delivery because that is our priority and there is a lot of work. Having CAS in all regions, including the ones where we did not get votes, is a show of togetherness, oneness, averting polarisation,” said Mr Jhanda.

Mathira MP Eric Wamumbi said that if Dr Ruto gets a team that will help him deliver on his campaign promises, it would be advantageous to him come 2027 when he will be going back to the electorate to seek another term.

“The President has got people who believe in his agenda and will carry his vision around the country. Even if they are politicians, they are individuals who cannot antagonise the government’s agenda and that is why we have the face of Kenya. If this team fulfils [the promises], it will be a bonus to the President and his deputy when they will be seeking re-election come 2027.”


A senior member of Dr Ruto’s inner circle yesterday told Saturday Nation that the President intends to use CAS and ambassadorial roles to balance the country’s politics to counter Mr Odinga’s mass action.

“The CAS are a real bait because the boss (Dr Ruto) decided not to go for competency but balance politics to create an image that the government has not sidelined any part of the country. By Monday, there were only 23 CAS whom he was to nominate, but after those delegations, he decided to take the bull by its horns to have 50 without any area complaining.

“We have started 2027 politics and now the boss has political pointmen who will be going back to their counties every weekend to sell UDA and by 2027, every part of this country will have been painted yellow.”

Dr Ruto is determined to recall all Mr Uhuru Kenyatta’s envoys to create more opportunities for technocrats who supported his bid. “All the ambassadors will be recalled and the few last ones that were picked just before elections will have to be recalled,” another MP from Rift Valley told Saturday Nation.