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To Russia without impeachment

President Ruto has acted quickly to move a beleaguered Mathuki into an ambassadorial role

Peter Mathuki has been abruptly recalled from his post as Secretary-General of the East African Community and is set to become Kenya's ambassador to Russia to avoid being impeached by EAC lawmakers over the alleged misuse of US$6 million of EAC budget funds.

Mathuki's conduct, which is expected to be put to a vote in the East African Legislative Assembly in the coming days, was brought up during the debate that followed President William Ruto's speech opening the EALA on 5 March. After it became clear that the numbers pointed to impeachment, Mathuki and Ruto's officials moved quickly to defuse the situation.

Mathuki will be replaced by Caroline Mueke, a former UN staffer.

It is an embarrassment for Mathuki and President Ruto. Mathuki was picked for the EAC job by former President Uhuru Kenyatta but he is a close ally of Ruto's which explains why he has been given one of the top embassies, albeit one which carries far less political influence (AC Vol 62 No 7, How not to win friends).

Mathuki's reassignment was one of several eyebrow-raising diplomatic appointments announced by the president's office on 8 March.

Former Turkana County Assembly Speaker Erastus Lokaale will replace Kenyatta appointee Martin Kimani as Kenya's representative to the United Nations. Kimani's international stock rose after a speech to the UN general assembly in March 2022, which compared Russia's invasion of Ukraine to European colonialism in Africa.

Elsewhere, Ezra Chiloba, who was forced out as chief executive of the Independent Election and Boundaries Commission in 2018, and then ousted last October as Director-General of the Communication Authority after being suspended over mortgage scheme graft allegations worth KSh662.4m ($4.73m), is back as the new Consul-General of the Kenyan mission in Los Angeles (AC Vol 58 No 22, A question of legitimacy).

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