Mt Kenya, Rift Valley regions hog list of President Ruto PS nominees
What you need to know:
- Dr Ruto threw in a mix of technocrats, retained six current PS, and rewarded key party loyalists, but ignored key election losers who had been in the 585-strong shortlist by the PSC.
- Dr Ruto’s list also failed the constitutional test that decrees that not more than two-thirds of any elected or appointed position be from one gender.
- President Ruto is said to have given himself approximately 24 slots while DP Gachagua got 15 with Mr Mudavadi sharing the remaining 12 with National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetang’ula.
President William Ruto has handed half of the Principal Secretary (PS) posts to Rift Valley and Mt Kenya, the two regions that gave him close to two-thirds of the vote in the August 9 General Election, as his government takes shape.
In the list of 51 PS nominees released yesterday and who will now be vetted by various National Assembly committees before approval by the House, Dr Ruto threw in a mix of technocrats, retained six current PS, and rewarded key party loyalists, but ignored key election losers who had been in the 585-strong shortlist by the Public Service Commission (PSC).
PSs serve as ministry accounting officers and heads of state departments. Last evening, Dr Ruto also appointed Ms Bernice Sialaal Lemedeket, who had served in the Kenya Pipeline Corporation Foundation as the Principal Administrative Secretary and at the National Police Service as the accounting officer.
Dr Ruto also named former East African Community Cabinet Secretary Adan Mohamed and Prof Vincent Machuki, the Director of the University of Nairobi’s Kisumu campus, to the Dr David Ndii-led President’s Council of Economic Advisors.
Dr Ruto’s list also failed the constitutional test that decrees that not more than two-thirds of any elected or appointed position be from one gender.
While Dr Ruto chose seven women CSs (31 per cent), he yesterday named 12 women of the 51 PS nominees (23.5 per cent).
Regions like Nyanza, which had five PSs in ex-President Uhuru Kenyatta administration, have now gotten three which have gone to Kisumu, Homa Bay and Migori while the entire Gusiiland got none.
The only lucky politicians who landed the PS job is former Langata MP Nixon Korir (Lands and Physical Planning), former Nairobi deputy governor Jonathan Mueke (Sports and The Arts), and former Laikipia West MP Patrick Mariru (Defence).
The President regularly consults his deputy Rigathi Gachagua, Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi and the likes of Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi, Senate Majority Leader Aaron Cheruiyot, Belgut MP Nelson Koech, Farouk Kibet, Nandi Governor Stephen Sang, Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro, Nakuru Governor Susan Kihika among others.
According to sources, with the PS slots being 51, President Ruto is said to have given himself approximately 24 slots while DP Gachagua got 15 with Mr Mudavadi sharing the remaining 12 with National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetang’ula.
Both Mr Mudavadi and Mr Wetang’ula were main partners in Dr Ruto’s Kenya Kwanza Alliance.
“President is determined to deliver on his agenda and there was no way he was going to give politicians PS jobs. That could be a big joke for the country. During the Moi era, we used to have politicians as ministers but the position of PS was left to technocrats,” said an MP aware of the President’s line of thought.
Dr Ruto has also rewarded key allies, including those in his office when he served as DP.
Mr Korir Sing’oei, who served as Dr Ruto’s head of legal and policy, has been nominated as Foreign Affairs PS, while Mr Geoffrey Gaituko, who was an advisor in Dr Ruto’s office, was named PS Labour and Skills Development.
Others rewarded in the team include Prof Edward Kisiang’ani (Broadcasting and Telecommunications), and Mr Alfred Ombudo K’Ombudo has been given the Trade docket.
While Prof Kisiang’ani was in the communications and strategy wing of the campaign, Mr K’Ombudo was integral in the development of the bottom-up economic approach and preparation and approval of the county charters.
Serving with Mr Sing’oei at the Dr Alfred Mutua-led Foreign Affairs Ministry is Ms Roseline Njogu (Diaspora Affairs), who also hails from Trans Nzoia County.
Dr Belio Kipsang has made a comeback to the Ministry of Education after he was appointed Basic Education PS while Dr Chris Kiptoo has been moved to National Treasury from Environment and Forestry.
Mr Harry Kimutai has remained in the Livestock Development docket, as has 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 is the PS for Medical Services.
Various heads of parastatals have also been nominated for the position of PS including Dr Raymond Omollo, who has been given the powerful docket of Interior. He is currently a director at the Lake Basin Development Authority.
Dr Juma Mukhwana, who is the Director-General and CEO of the Kenya National Qualifications Authority has been nominated as PS for the department of Industry while Mr John Kipchumba Tanui, the current CEO of Konza Technopolis is the Information, Communication and Digital Economy PS.
Mr Philip Kello Harsama who was the former Agricultural Food Authority boss has been given the department of Crop Development while Mr Paul K Ronoh, the acting ICT Authority boss, has landed the Water and Sanitation PS post.
Mr James Muhati, proposed as the Economic Planning PS, is Huduma Kenya CEO while Mr Amos Gathecha (Public Service) is the Principal Administrative Secretary in The National Treasury.
Ms Susan Mangeni, the nominee for MSMEs Development, will be entrusted with the Sh50 billion Hustler Fund. Ms Mangeni was United Democratic Aliance (UDA) coordinator in Busia.
Ms Aurelia Rono (Parliamentary Affairs), and Ummy Bashir (Wildlife) also served as members of the UDA National Election Board.
Other women PS nominees are Teresia Mbaika Malokwe (Devolution), Esther Ngero (Performance and Delivery Management), Caroline Nyawira Murage (Correctional Services), Veronica Mueni Nduva (Gender and Affirmative Action), Esther Thaara Muhoria (Tvet), Josephine Mburu (Health Standards and Professional Management), Beatrice Inyangala (Higher Education and Research) and Sylvia Naseya Muhoro (Wildlife).
Ms Malokwe is an environmentalist and health economist, who serves as the Secretary of the National Government-Constituency Development Fund in Kaiti Constituency while Ms Inyangala was the running mate of Cleophas Malala in the Kakamega governor race but lost to Fernandez Barasa of ODM. Ms Ngero is the CEO of International Petroleum Trading at Dalbit Petroleum based in Dar es Salaam).
For Ms Muhoria, who has been named PS in charge of Technical and Vocational Education (Tvet), it is twice lucky, as she had just served for a day as the Embu County Secretary. She was sworn in on Tuesday evening.
Mr Festus Ng’eno, who has landed the Environment docket, was a county minister under the same docket in the Lee Kinyanjui government in Nakuru of 2017-2022 while Joel Arumonyang, who has been named Public Works PS was County Executive for Roads during the regime of Prof John Lonyangapuo.
Other nominees include Shadrack Mwadime (Shipping and Maritime Affairs), Muthoni Njagi (Blue Economy and Fisheries), Idris Dogota (The Asal and Regional Development), Abdi Dubart (East African Community Affairs), Joseph Mugosi Mutavi (social Protection and Senior Citizen Affairs), Mohamed Liban (Petroleum), Alex Wachira (Energy), Gitonga Mugambi (Irrigation), Ummy Mohammed Bashir (Culture and Heritage), John Ololtuaa (Tourism), Ephantus Kimotho (Forestry), Festus Ngeno (Environment).
Others are Ismail Madey (Youth Affairs), Patrick Kiburi Kilemi (Cooperatives), Juma Mukhwana (Industry), Abubakar Hassan (Investment Promotion), Philip Kello Harsama (Crop Development), Mohamed Dhagar (Transport), Joseph Mungai Mbugua (Roads), and Veronica Mueni Nduva (Gender and Affirmative Action).