Jump to navigation

Vol 62 No 4

Published 18th February 2021


Kenya

Uhuru reshuffles and grows the government

The unwieldy coalition in Nairobi is going from big tent to bloated tent

When President Uhuru Kenyatta shuffled and expanded his pack of ministers on Thursday (19 February) it was his 'handshake' partners, Orange Democratic Movement party leader Raila Odinga and his Wiper counterpart Kalonzo Musyoka, who benefited most. There was more patronage for the newish allies but no sackings.

The changes, which cover political appointees at chief administrative secretary (CAS) and top officials at principal secretary (PS) level, have seen eight new entrants to the executive line-up – all pro-Handshake allies.

Created by Kenyatta in 2018, partly as a means to reward political allies who failed to get elected at the 2017 elections, the CAS post functions as an assistant minister and ranks below the cabinet minister. CAS appointees do not need parliamentary approval.

The highest profile of the new names is David Osianyi, close to Odinga, who has been appointed chief administrative secretary in the Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and Enterprise Development.

The President on Friday said that no official had been sacked. But allies of Deputy President William Ruto may see their power diluted ahead of the 2022 general elections (AC Vol 61 No 14, A big tent for Moi's children). Ministers nominated by Ruto will now have hostile understudies loyal to Odinga or Musyoka.

Labour and Social Protection CAS and former Narok West MP Patrick Ole Ntutu, for example, one of Ruto's supporters in government, remains in office but with much reduced responsibilities.

Some complain the new CAS's will simply be used to spearhead political campaigning ahead of the 2022 polls.

Kenyatta's allies insist all the new appointees will be focused on implementing the President's 'Big Four' legacy agenda of delivering universal healthcare, half-a-million affordable houses, food security and increased manufacturing.



Related Articles

A big tent for Moi's children

The President's attempts to co-opt oppositionists has reunited young Turks promoted by the late President Moi

Thirty years after the Saba Saba protests triggered the battle for the restoration of multiparty politics in Kenya, veterans of that struggle might be troubled to see that the curr...


Leave it to Sally

The President's bright woman takes over from the dream team

President Daniel arap Moi declared last month that women don't reach the pinnacle of public life because their brains are too small. Shortly afterwards, he appointed Dr. Sally Kosg...


A dangerous compromise

The politicians' failure to agree on serious reform of the government risks a repeat of the 2007 election crisis

The 20-year quest for a new constitution looks set to end in a dangerous compromise. At the end of March, when Parliament debated the Harmonised Draft Constitution, it was clear th...


Maize splits the Grand Coalition

The Kibaki-Odinga courtship is over again and presidential contenders head for the brink before the 2012 elections

Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s 16 February call for his allies to boycott cabinet meetings until the furore over his right to suspend ministers is settled shows how quickly and deep...


Economy up, security down

With strains appearing in the Jubilee Coalition, the opposition will exploit the government’s political and security problems

The grisly image of the decomposing and mutilated body of Meshack Yebei, a witness in Deputy President William Ruto's case at the International Criminal Court will keep this issue ...