More by-elections loom as MPs eye Cabinet positions

Aden Duale, Alice Wahome, Ndindi Nyoro

From left: Aden Duale, Alice Wahome, Ndindi Nyoro and Kipchumba Murkomen.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

President William Ruto is likely to cause more than five by-elections when he unveils his Cabinet.

Already, residents of Bungoma County are gearing up for a mini-poll before the end of the year after Ford Kenya leader Moses Wetang’ula resigned as senator and was later elected Speaker of the National Assembly.

With Dr Ruto expected to pick some of his confidantes to join the Executive, he will be increasing the number of by-elections the electoral agency is likely to conduct by the end of this year or early 2023.

On Saturday in Naivasha, President Ruto’s Kenya Kwanza revealed its National Assembly and Senate leadership, which set tongues wagging after senior members of the coalition were left out of the plum jobs.

Word has it that some of the senior members of the coalition left out of the positions will resign and join the Cabinet.

Having served as Majority Leader in the 12th Parliament, Garissa Township MP Aden Duale told the Nation that he did not go for the position because he is likely to be in Dr Ruto’s Cabinet.

“I am going to be in the Executive,” the MP wrote in a terse WhatsApp response.

Elgeyo-Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen, who served as Senate Majority Leader before being kicked out in 2020, is also expected to resign and join the Cabinet.

Since September 5, when the Supreme Court upheld President Ruto’s electoral victory, there has been vigorous lobbying in the Kenya Kwanza camp.

Sources told the Nation that between Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro and his Kandara counterpart Alice Wahome, one of them will also resign and join the Cabinet.

“It is correct that Duale and Murkomen are going to join the Cabinet. One of the constituencies in Murang’a County will also have a by-election but Kenyans should relax and wait,” said Kimilili MP Didmus Barasa.

Others who are eagerly waiting Cabinet positions include former Turkana Governor Josphat Nanok, UDA chairman Johnson Muthama, Mr Ababu Namwamba, Maendeleo Chap Chap leader Alfred Mutua, Chama Cha Kazi boss Moses Kuria, former Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya, former National Speaker Justin Muturi and Mr Eliud Owalo.

Mr Kuria is optimistic that he will land either the Transport and Infrastructure or Trade and Industry docket.

“We serve at the pleasure of the appointing authority. It is not something a person eyes,” said the former Gatundu South MP.

With President Ruto having promised that his Cabinet will have 50 per cent women, it is not clear how he will fulfil this without causing dissatisfaction within Kenya Kwanza.

“On the matter of gender parity, I am committed to the two-thirds gender rule as enshrined in our constitution. I will work with Parliament to fast track various legislative proposals and establish a framework that will resolve this matter expeditiously as promised in our manifesto,” he said in his inauguration speech at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani in Nairobi last week.

President Ruto and his deputy Rigathi Gachagua are faced with a delicate balance between giving Kenyans competent people who will work towards realising his campaign promises and rewarding his political cronies without disadvantaging any region.