MPs approve President Ruto’s principal secretaries

State Department for Lands and Physical Planning Principal Secretary nominee Nixon Korir

State Department for Lands and Physical Planning Principal Secretary nominee Nixon Korir during the interview at County hall, Nairobi on November 30, 2022. 

Photo credit: Lucy Wanjiru | Nation Media Group

The National Assembly yesterday approved President William Ruto’s 51 principal secretaries (PS) nominees, paving the way for their swearing-in today.

The approval now gives the President, on his 80th day in office, the engine that runs the government.

This brings to an end the reign of former President Uhuru Kenyatta’s PSs.

Out of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s 44 PSs, six have been retained.

Dr Belio Kipsang has made a comeback to the Ministry of Education after he was appointed PS Basic Education while Dr Chris Kiptoo has been moved to National Treasury from Environment and Forestry.

Mr Harry Kimutai has remained in the Livestock Development docket, same as Mr Charles Hinga in Housing and Urban Development.

Others retained are Mr Julius Korir who has been named to the newly created State Department of Cabinet Affairs while former Kenya Medical Training College boss Peter Tum has been named PS for Medical Services.

A total of 12 women will be sworn in today. They are Ms Teresia Malokwe (Devolution), Ms Esther Ngero (Performance and Delivery Management), Ms Aurelia Rono (Parliamentary Affairs), Ms Roseline Njogu (Diaspora Affairs), Ms Veronica Nduva (Gender and Affirmative Action), Ms Esther Muhoria (Tvet), Ms Ummi Bashir (Culture and Heritage), Dr Josephine Mburu (Health Standards and Professional Management), Ms Susan Mangeni (MSMEs Development), Ms Mary Muthoni (Correctional Services), Ms Beatrice Inyangala (Higher Education and Research) and Ms Sylvia Muhoro (Wildlife).


The PSs will now join 22 Cabinet secretaries who have been in office for more than a month.

The ceremony comes after the PSs were approved by the National Assembly following the end of their vetting by various departmental committees yesterday.

The mad rush saw a record 30 nominees vetted after National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetang’ula on Tuesday announced the resumption of the exercise.

This is after the High Court lifted an injunction that had stopped the process following a case filed by the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) over the legality of the list compiled by the Public Service Commission.

LSK argued that the nominations were unlawful and unconstitutional for failing to meet the two-thirds gender requirement as well as regional and tribal balance.

However, Justice Nduma Nderi of the Employment and Labour Relations Court quashed the order issued by Justice Nzioki Makau, saying the case against the PS vetting was premature.

On Thursday, chairpersons of the various departmental committees tabled their vetting reports on the suitability of the nominees before the House.

The lawmakers then proceeded to debate the reports before approving the names, by a resolution.

The House will proceed on the Christmas recess from today.

Others to be sworn in today are Dr Raymond Omollo (Interior and National Administration), Dr Korir Sing’oei (Foreign Affairs), Mr Patrick Mariru (Defence), Mr Abdi Dubart (East African Community), Mr Gitonga Mugambi (Irrigation), Dr Paul Ronoh (Water and Sanitation), Mr Alfred K’Ombundo (Trade), Mr Abubakar Hassan (Investment Promotion), Mr Juma Mukhwana (Industry), Mr Patrick Kilemi (Cooperatives), Prof Julius Bitok (Citizen Services), Mr Peter Tum (Medical Services), Mr James Muhati (Economic Planning) and former Lang’ata MP Nixon Korir (Lands and Physical Planning).

Others are former Nairobi deputy governor Jonathan Mueke (Sports and the Arts), Mr Shadrack Mwadime (Shipping and Maritime Affairs), Muthoni Njagi (Blue Economy and Fisheries), Mr Idris Dogota (The Asal and Regional Development), Mr Joseph Mungai Mbugua (Roads), Prof Edward Kisiangani (Broadcasting and Telecommunications) and Mr John Kipchumba Tanui (ICT and The Digital Economy).

Other nominees who will take the oath of office today are Mr Alex Wachira (Energy), Mr Joel Arumonyang (Public Works), Mr Geoffrey Kaituko (Labour), Mr Amos Gatheca (Public Service), Mr Philip Harsama (Crop Development), Mr Ismail Madey (Youth Affairs), Mr Festus Ngeno (Environment), Mr Ephantus Kimotho (Forestry), Mr John Ololtuaa (Tourism), Mr Mohamed Liban (Petroleum), Mr Joseph Mutavi (Social Security and Protection) and Mr Elijah Mwangi (Mining).

Additional reporting by Onyango K’Onyango