Uhuru ministers in Ruto Cabinet

Cabinet ministers

From left: Monica Juma, Simon Chelugui, Ababu Namwamba.

Photo credit: File

At least three ministers who served in former President Kenyatta’s government survived the transition to find their way into President William Ruto’s new administration.

Also transitioning to the new government are two heads of state corporations who were elevated to ministerial roles.

Despite the heavy shake-up that sent big names in the Kenyatta administration home, among lucky survivors were Energy and Petroleum Cabinet Secretary (CS) Monica Juma, Labour CS Simon Chelugui and Foreign Affairs Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Ababu Namwamba. 

Kenya Electricity Generating Company (Kengen) CEO Rebecca Miano and Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) Director of Legal Services Mercy Wanjau also survived the wave to enter the new Cabinet.

In his announcement yesterday, President Ruto appointed Dr Juma to be the national security advisor, a Cabinet level appointment.

Until the announcement yesterday, Ms Juma served as the Energy and Petroleum CS, a position she held since October 2021, following the sacking of former CS Charles Keter.

Ms Juma had served as Cabinet Secretary handling the Defence and Foreign Affairs dockets in the previous government, before which she had served as Principal Secretary in different ministries. 

Mr Chelugui was also appointed the new minister for Cooperatives, Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Development. He served as Labour CS in former President Kenyatta’s government until his exit and had also served as Water CS before a reshuffle last year.

Mr Namwamba’s gamble also paid off as he made it to President Ruto’s government having been appointed minister for Youth Affairs, Sports and Arts. He remained Foreign Affairs CAS in Mr Kenyatta’s government until his exit, despite his open association with Dr Ruto during the campaigns.

The three not only survived cabinet reshuffles in Mr Uhuru’s regime, but also a transitional wave that saw President Ruto massively re-introduce appointment of politicians to the cabinet.

Among big names that were dropped while the three survived are Fred Matiang’i (Interior), George Magoha (Education), Joe Mucheru (ICT), James Macharia (Transport) and Peter Munya (Agriculture). 

Ms Miano, who has served as Kengen CEO since November 2017, was appointed by President Ruto as the Minister for East African Community (EAC), Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (Asals) and Regional Development.

She will lead Kenya’s business relations with EAC and the region, and the government’s Asals agenda that addresses various economic issues and a key promise by President Ruto in turning around Kenya’s economy.

Ms Wanjau was appointed as Secretary to the Cabinet. Until her appointment, she served as Director of Legal Services at CA and had previously served as the organisation’s acting Director-General for two years until last year, when Ezrah Chiloba, the former Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission CEO, was appointed