NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 25 – Najib Balala and Charity Ngilu are set to make a comeback to the Cabinet after President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto nominated them to the ministries of Mining and Land, Housing and Urban Development respectively.
While making the announcement on Thursday, the Head of State defended their nomination saying they had vowed to quit politics and dedicate their energies to the realisation of the Jubilee manifesto.
“We have agreed that the two personalities will drop all their political responsibilities including party positions. We have also agreed that the Deputy President and I will lead all the political affairs of the Jubilee government,” explained Kenyatta.
The nomination, which is likely to get tongues wagging, comes a day after the deputy president said that politicians would be locked out of their Cabinet.
Ruto had on Wednesday said that the Jubilee Cabinet would only have two politicians.
“Don’t spend a lot of time trying to find among the nominees who is TNA and who is URP… who is the rest of the coalition partners because they don’t exist. In the Cabinet, there will be only two politicians – the president and myself,” he said.
Speaking soon after she was named to the post, Ngilu pledged to work hard towards ensuring that the challenges in the housing sector as well as those in the lands industry were addressed.
“I want to assure you of my total commitment and dedication to the work that I am going to do for the nation. I am aware of the difficulties that we have been experiencing and the problems of land in this country; where land is not a factor of production but used for speculation purposes,” she said.
Balala at the same time pledged to work towards delivering the Jubilee manifesto saying he would market the country’s mining industry.
“I believe in the team spirit we had, we will deliver services to Kenyans. I will definitely market Kenya’s natural resources on the ground and not wildlife and tourism,” he promised.
Ngilu headed the Ministry of Water for five years in Mwai Kibaki’s government. While nominating her, Kenyatta said that the number of people accessing safe clean water under her leadership went up from 17 million to 24 million.
The 61-year-old mother of three has also served as the Health Minister and has worked for the Central Bank of Kenya as well as Chase Manhattan.
On the other hand, Balala has served four Ministries, key among them the Ministry of Tourism, which he headed from 2008 to 2012.
At the time Balala was elected President of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation and awarded as the best Minister of Tourism in Africa by the African Investor.
The 46-year-old father of four attended a leadership course at JF Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University and also a course in Urban Management at the University of Toronto.
Ngilu and Balala have also served as Members of Parliament for Kitui Central and Mvita constituencies respectively.