, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 24 – Eldoret North MP William Ruto has been dropped from the Cabinet in a mini-reshuffle and replaced with Eldoret East MP Prof Margaret Kamar, as Prime Minister Raila Odinga moved to tame rebels in his Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) Party.
Prof Kamar is now the Minister for Higher Education, Science and Technology Ministry.
Also shown the door was East African Community Minister Hellen Sambili whose docket was handed over to Mr Odinga’s close ally, Musa Sirma, who is a nominated ODM lawmaker.
Interestingly, the Industrialisation Ministry docket held by ODM chairman (and Tinderet MP) Henry Kosgey remained untouched. Mr Kosgey has remained relatively quiet since he voluntarily stepped aside after being charged for abuse of office but Mr Ruto has taken Mr Odinga head-on, daring him to fire him on several occasions.
Mr Kosgey and Mr Ruto are also both facing possible charges of crimes against humanity before the International Criminal Court.
Mr Ruto was suspended from office after he faced fraud charges in court over the sale of land belonging to the Kenya Pipeline Company but he has since been acquitted.
This fact coupled with the failure by the Prime Minister to replace Mr Kosgey (who is still facing a corruption case) clearly indicates the reshuffle was targeting rebel MPs.
Another rebel dismissed was Assistant Livestock Minister Aden Duale (Dujis MP) whose job was handed to Voi Member of Parliament Danson Mwazo.
ODM’s list of rebel MPs also includes Belgut MP Charles Keter and Cherangany MP Joshua Kutuny who have been dared to decamp from the party alongside Mr Ruto if they wish.
Most of them led by Mr Ruto say they are ready to go back to the ballot as the rest of the party members remained split on whether to expel them from the party or not.
President Mwai Kibaki reinstated his Western Kenya ally Moses Wetangula to his job at the Foreign Affairs Ministry alongside Permanent Secretary Thuita Mwangi.
Mr Mwangi stepped aside voluntarily last year followed by Mr Wetangula after an investigation was initiated into a multimillion dollar deal involving the purchase of embassies in Nigeria, Egypt, Pakistan and Japan. The Kenya Anti Corruption Commission said it had completed local aspects of the embassies probe.
In other changes announced on Wednesday, ODM’s Wajir North MP Mohamed Gabbow replaced Moyale MP Ali Mohamud Mohamed as the Assistant Minister for Special Programmes.
Manson Nyamweya (South Mugirango MP) became the Assistant Minister in the Ministry of Trade replacing Harun Mwau who stepped aside in December last year after being linked to an international drug syndicate.
Mr Mwau stepped aside to facilitate investigations into the drug allegations that have put Kenya in a world list where top drug barons operate.
Kapenguria MP Julius Recha Murgor replaces Prof Kamar as the Assistant Minister for Environment and Mineral Resources.