The Principal Secretary nominations take place just a day after the final two of eighteen Cabinet Secretaries were sworn into office at a ceremony presided over by the President.
The Constitution does not specify the minimum or maximum number of Principal Secretaries the President can nominate as is the case with Cabinet Secretaries.
President Kenyatta was supplied with a list of 66 candidates to choose from by the Public Service Commission (PSC) last month.
The list of names has however been shrouded in controversy after the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission accused the PSC of not being transparent in its selection process.
The PSC Chairperson Margaret Kobia, however defended the decision not to carry out the Principal Secretary interviews in public for the reason that it would have made the candidates nervous and incapable of putting their best foot forward.
Kobia also said carrying out the interviews in public would have denied the candidates a competitive edge by making them privy to each other’s performances.
The Consumer Federation of Kenya (COFEK) went a step further and moved to court over the list of 66 on the grounds that serving Permanent Secretaries were not on the list.
However the High Court dismissed the case.
The list of 66 was whittled out of 2, 088 applications that were initially short listed to 155 before the PSC made the final cut.
In addition to the names, the PSC recommended to the President which ministries the Principal Secretaries should be assigned.
When announcing the selection of the 66, Kobia said the list exhibited gender balance and included the disabled.