KENYA: Uhuru to Appoint 8 Women in Cabinet

Friday, April 5, 2013
the Star
Eastern Africa
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 

PRESIDENT-elect Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto want to have at least one woman from each of Kenya's eight province appointed to the Cabinet to meet the 30 per cent constitutional gender requirement.

State house political adviser Nancy Gitau, earlier touted for the Head of Civil Service, is now being considered for appointment as a Cabinet secretary. Nancy was at the top of the hierarchy in Uhuru's presidential campaign.

She has immense experience of public service having previously worked as the political affairs director at the Policy and Strategy Unit set up inside State House in 2004. The unit provided Kibaki with advisory services on economic, political affairs, infrastructure, science and technology.

Head of Governance at the Treasury, Anne Waiguru, former Justice PS Amina Mohammed and former Kathiani MP Wavinya Ndeti are also being mentioned as possible Cabinet secretaries.

Waiguru helped set up the Integrated Financial Management Information System initiated by then Finance minister Uhuru Kenyatta to curb fraud in public spending.

Amina left government in 2011 to become assistant secretary-general and deputy executive director of UNEP. Amina is currently a frontrunner to head the World Trade Organisation.

Deputy head of the Kenya mission in Somalia, Yvonne Khamati, is also under consideration for a Cabinet appointment.She previously served as head of Chancery and deputy permanent representative to the Kenya Mission to the United Nations Office in Nairobi. UNON comprises all UN offices in Nairobi plus UNEP and UN-HABITAT.

Khamati remained a supporter of Uhuru even after many Luhya distanced themselves from his candidacy, especially after the fiasco of the alleged deal with Musalia Mudavadi.

Broadcaster Farida Karoney's name has also been floated as has Taita MP Naomi Shabaan. Shabaan has been with Uhuru since their Kanu days and recently managed to persuade the Kenyatta family to donate some land in Taita to squatters.

Businesswoman and Adopt-Alight founder Esther Passaris's name has also been mentioned. But even as Uhuru and Ruto juggle with the issue of gender, they must also consider regional balance if they are to stay true to their promise of providing a generational change in their administration.

Uhuru and Ruto have already agreed that they will have a full Cabinet of 22 secretaries and intend to ensure that each province gets at least two slots, but with Rift Valley and Central getting an extra two each.

Two other slots have been reserved for Najib Balala who wants to retain his Tourism portfolio and Charity Ngilu who wants the Environment and Water docket.

TNA will take the crucial Finance ministry and Uhuru is apparently considering head of Vision 2030 Mugo Kibati, current minister Njeru Githae, and current PS Joseph Kinyua.

Where TNA takes the cabinet secretary, URP will take the principal secretary, and vice versa.Ruto is reportedly considering Moses Lessonet or a Mr Choge for the job of principal secretary at Treasury.

URP will appoint Roads and Transport secretary and Ruto is considering Kericho senator Charles Keter, former IIEC commissioner Davis Chirchir and a James Kosgey.

Central PC Kiplimo Rugut has been suggested to become Cabinet secretary for National Security and Defence with Head of Civil Service Francis Kimemia serving as principal secretary.

Bidco's CEO Vimal Shah, former chairman of the Nairobi Stock Exchange Jimnah Mbaru, former Kenya Commercial Bank boss Martin Oduor-Otieno, Kenya Airways CEO Titus Naikuni, businessman David Langat and former KWS boss Julius Kipng'etich are among the business leaders being considered for top government jobs. Some business leaders will land advisory roles in the Office of the President and the Deputy President.

Uhuru has insisted that appointed to government jobs must be made on merit and candidates must have the necessary expertise and knowledge. TNA secretary general Onyango Oloo, Defence PS Nancy Kirui and Nairobi PC Ndirangu Waweru have been proposed for State House comptroller.

Some former MPs such as Abdikadir Mohammed, Eugene Wamalwa, Raphael Tuju and Shem Ochuodho are among the few politicians being considered for appointment to the Cabinet.