Musalia Mudavadi has been appointed Prime Cabinet Secretary by President William Ruto. He will be the most senior official in government after the President and his DP Rigathi Gachagua.
"He will oversee the government projects. He will coordinate national legislative agenda," Dr Ruto said.
The President listed Mr Mudavadi's roles as:
- Assisting Dr Ruto and Mr Gachagua in supervising government ministries and State departments
- Implementing government policies, programmes and projects
- Facilitating inter-ministerial work of cross- functional programmes
- Taking on any other function as may be assigned by the President
The announcement was made at State House by the Head of State, who has made good on his campaign promise to Western region that the ANC leader will be given the job. Dr Ruto had also promised that Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula would clinch the National Assembly Speaker seat.
“I also want to thank Luhya leaders, led by Wetang’ula and Musalia, for joining my team to bring home victory and I want to assure all that every promise we made we shall fulfil. As we move forward, Mr Musalia shall be our Chief Minister, who will mobilise all the resources that will take Kenya ahead,” Dr Ruto said last month after he was declared President-elect.
'Gentleman of Kenyan politics'
Described as a laid back man who carefully thinks over what he says and does not rush into making decisions and public pronouncements, Mr Mudavadi has earned the tag of “a safe pair of hands” from his supporters. Some have also described him as a non-polarising character and "the gentleman of Kenyan politics".
Mr Mudavadi, who served as Kenya’s seventh Vice President (VP), was first elected MP in 1989 after the death of his father, Mr Moses Mudavadi. He was elected unopposed in Sabatia constituency and went on to be re-elected in 1992, 1997, and 2007.
Soon after, former President Daniel Moi appointed him Minister of Supplies and Marketing until 1992 when he was elevated to Ministry of Finance between 1993 and 1997. He has also served as Minister for Agriculture, and Transport and Communication between 2001 and 2002 when he was appointed to the office of VP.
He served three months in the office of the Vice President, the shortest sting in Kenyan history.
He was appointed VP in October 2002 to replace the late George Saitoti, who Moi had sacked in a succession war after he chose Mr Uhuru Kenyatta as his successor. Mr Mudavadi was Mr Kenyatta's running mate in the 2002 general election. He ended up losing that bid as well as his Sabatia Parliamentary seat.
Mr Mudavadi made a come back in 2005 during the campaigns for the new Constitution. He joined the NO camp that was opposed to the draft that the Kibaki government had proposed. The camp emerged winners of the referendum. In the 2007 presidential election, Mr Mudavadi was Mr Odinga’s running mate, but again they lost to late former President Mwai Kibaki.
He was a member of the national reconciliation team that negotiated for peace after the bloody events of the 2007/08 post-election violence and was appointed Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Local government in the Grand coalition government of 2008/13.
He defected from ODM to his United Democratic Forum (UDF) through which he contested the 2013 presidential race, coming third.
He severed ties with UDF to form Amani National Congress (ANC) in 2015. ANC was part of the five political parties that merged in 2017 to form the National Super Alliance (Nasa) which fronted Mr Raila Odinga as its presidential candidate. Nasa lost to Jubilee in the election held on August 8, 2017 but the Supreme Court nullified the outcome due to irregularities.
In January 2022, he joined hands with Dr Ruto to form the Kenya Kwanza Alliance ahead of the 2022 general elections, which the latter won and became the fifth President of Kenya.