, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 27 – Prime Minister Raila Odinga has been forced to make further changes to his Cabinet line-up with the appointment of Hassan Joho as Assistant Minister for Transport.
The decision to appoint Joho as an Assistant Minister was seen by analysts as a move to appease the Muslim community after the sacking of Najib Balala who was replaced by Voi MP Danson Mwazo who is a non-Muslim.
A statement from the Presidential Press Service on Tuesday afternoon said President Mwai Kibaki in consultation with Odinga picked the Kisauni MP to replace Simon Ogari (Bomachoge) who has been moved to the Information and Communications docket.
The appointment and reshuffles on Tuesday were made just a day after the President and PM appointed Eugene Wamalwa, Dan Mwazo and Jamleck Kamau to the Cabinet and fired Balala.
It is also telling that the Prime Minister is scheduled to make a visit to Joho’s Kisauni constituency at Tononoka, Mombasa on Wednesday. Joho has been battling supremacy in Mombasa County with the now-sacked Balala.
In the reshuffle on Tuesday, Galole MP Dhadho Godhana was moved to the Ministry of Livestock as an Assistant Minister.
He previously served as the Assistant Minister for Information and Communications.
Joho, Mwazo and Environment Assistant Minister Ramadhan Kajembe are now the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) point-men in the Coast Province after Balala’s sacking.
Balala has of late been a thorn in the flesh for the party leader who made him his Coast point-man in the last general elections after he dropped his presidential ambitions to support Odinga’s bid.
The former Tourism Minister is currently shopping for a new party after falling out with Odinga.
The Mvita MP has in the past accused the PM’s Orange Movement of being dictatorial and lacking in democracy.
Analysts say the ex-minister who maintains he is not associated with the G7 Alliance led by Uhuru, Ruto, and Wamalwa remains a significant politician in the Coast province.