NAIROBI, Kenya, April 23 – They came out with their jackets off perhaps to indicate their readiness to get down to the business of forming a Cabinet and running the government.
And in similar unconventional fashion, President Uhuru Kenyatta continued to name four out of the expected 18 Cabinet nominees as his deputy William Ruto looked on.
Political analysts are already optimistic that the sneak peak Kenyatta and Ruto have given into their Cabinet list indicates the dawn of a new era – one where appointments are made on merit and not to reward political cronies.
“Both the president and his deputy spoke of conducting due diligence before releasing the names of their nominees,” Felix Owuor, Country Director of the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa, told Capital FM News, “indicating a departure from the old way of doing things.”
The president nominated James Macharia (Health), Dr Fred Matiang’i (ICT), Henry Rotich (National Treasury) and Ambassador Amina Mohamed (Foreign Affairs).
Moses Chelanga, who is an advocate of the High Court concurs with Owuor: “The credentials of the nominees that the president read out show that he and his deputy are keen on merit and injecting new blood into government. Apart from Amina (Mohammed) and (Henry) Rotich who served government in the background, the rest are fresh faces.”
He supported Kenyatta and Ruto’s decision to nominate a manager for the health docket but suggested he select a doctor for the position of principal secretary to offer the necessary technical support to banker James Macharia.
Chelanga however expressed disappointment over the number of nominees made public saying, “we were expecting a full list but what he’s given us is not even a quarter of that.”
Owuor expressed concern that by prolonging naming their Cabinet nominees, the president and his deputy might not be able to deliver on the things they promised to accomplish within their first 100 days in office.
“The process must be balanced against the very ambitious plans the Jubilee government outlined in their manifesto,” Owuor explained.
The time constraints aside, Owuor is confident the individuals selected so far will have no problem getting approval from Parliament.
“I have worked with the Foreign Affairs nominee, Amina Mohammed and the ICT nominee, Fred Matiang’i before and there are no questions as to their suitability for those positions. They are qualified and have solid experience and should have no problem going through public scrutiny.”