, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 26 – Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta’s ally Eugene Wamalwa has been appointed to the Cabinet, significantly taking up the Justice Ministry docket, which was occupied by Mutula Kilonzo.
The Mbooni MP has now been moved to the Education Ministry, as Prof Sam Ongeri takes up the Foreign Affairs docket whose former holder, Moses Wetangula, becomes the Minister for Trade.
The changes made by President Mwai Kibaki in consultation with the Prime Minister have seen Najib Balala – who has fallen out of favour with the PM – sacked as Tourism Minister, and replaced with Orange Democratic Movement point-man in the Coast Province Danson Mwazo.
Another Kenyatta ally Jamleck Kamau has also joined the Cabinet as Minister for Nairobi Metropolitan.
Njeru Githae becomes the substantive Finance Minister.
Chirau Mwakwere has moved from Trade to the Environment Ministry, previously held by the late John Michuki.
The trio of Wamalwa, Kenyatta and Eldoret North MP William Ruto have been rallying together as they seek to form a common political ground before next year’s general election.
They have been advocating for a generational change, although many analysts see this as a move to counter Odinga.
Wamalwa has indicated that he will seek the presidency.
Mutula has also has been at loggerheads with Uhuru and his allies after insisting that the Gatundu South MP and his Eldoret North counterpart be disqualified from standing in the presidential election because of the ICC charges they are facing.
Mutula’s party leader Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka has publicly declared that he has not been speaking for his Wiper Democratic Party.
Mutula has also insisted that Uhuru relinquishes the post of Deputy Prime Minister that he retained after resigning as Finance Minister.
In the Orange Democratic Movement led by Odinga, Balala has of late been a thorn in the flesh of the party leader who made him his Coast point-man in the last general elections after he dropped his presidential ambitions to support his 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 led Orange Democratic Party of being dictatorial and lacking in democracy.
Analysts say the minister who maintains he is not associated with the G7 Alliance led by Uhuru, Ruto, and Wamalwa is one of the influential politicians from the Coast province.
The full statement from State House on the changes reads;
His Excellency President Mwai Kibaki in consultation with the Rt Hon Prime Minister Raila Odinga has made the following changes in the cabinet.
1. Hon Njeru Githae – Minister of Finance.
2. Hon Prof Sam Ongeri – Minister for Foreign Affairs.
3. Hon Mutula Kilonzo – Minister for Education.
4. Hon. Eugene Wamalwa – Minister for Justice, National Cohesion and Constitutional Affairs.
5. Hon Danson Mwazo -Minister for Tourism.
6. Hon. Moses Wetangula – Minister for Trade.
7. Hon. Chirau Ali Mwakwere – Minister for Environment.
8. Hon Jamleck Kamau – Ministry of Nairobi Metropolitan.
The changes take effect immediately.