, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 3 – With the appointment of a fresh Cabinet expected in coming weeks, Kenyans are optimistic that those selected to serve in different portfolios will deliver on their respective mandates.
Those who spoke to Capital FM News on Wednesday said President Uhuru Kenyatta should cast his net wider to ensure regional and gender balance in his new administration.
“He should try to spread these positions across the country because currently, we’re divided. In my opinion, if President Kenyatta picks from Nyanza, Coast, Western, Eastern and even Central the country will be united,” Dennis Kariuki, a procurement officer at a Nairobi-based firm remarked.
According to Kariuki, Cabinet positions should be retained at the current 20 or even a lesser number even though Article 152 (1) (d) of the Constitution allows the Head of State to appoint up to 22 Cabinet Secretaries.
The Constitution provides for a minimum of 14 Cabinet Secretaries.
On whether or not serving Cabinet Secretaries should be retained, Simon Ngure, an IT specialist in Nairobi argued those re-appointed should have a development track record.
Ngure said the expansion of the Cabinet should be driven by the need to deliver to the taxpayer rather than an attempt to please those who have been lobbying for positions.
“I think a majority of the Cabinet will be retained. There will be minimal changes in my considered opinion,” he said.
As far as Ngure is concerned, Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi, as well as his late Interior counterpart Joseph Nkaissery, did exceptionally well in their respective dockets.
Generally, Ngure said he would be fine should President Kenyatta retain his present Cabinet.
In his New Year address on Monday, President Kenyatta promised to unveil a new Cabinet through which he shall deliver on his Big Four agenda which include food security, affordable housing, manufacturing and affordable healthcare.
“In the next few weeks, I will unveil the men and women to whom I will entrust delivery of the Big Four, and other programmes that will transform this country,” President Kenyatta hinted.
“I will expect these men and women to serve Kenyans without partiality and with the very highest standard of integrity and efficiency,” Kenyatta, who was sworn in for a second term on November 28 said adding that Cabinet Secretaries must prove worthy of the trust bestowed on them by Kenyans.
Kenyatta emphasised on servant leadership saying leaders should “work hard every single day” to confirm to voters that they made the right choice in electing them into various positions.
At the moment, a good number of Principal Secretaries heading State Departments are seasoned corporate bosses in what was triggered by President Kenyatta’s shift from enlisting politicians as had been the tradition in past regimes.
Among former corporate heads in charge of State Departments are Trade Mark East Africa’s ex-CEO Chris Kiptoo and Sammy Itemere, former Kenya Commercial Bank Sudan CEO.
The pending appointments saw intensified political activities in December with Cabinet Secretaries unsure of their jobs sending emissaries to plead their cases.
There was also an upsurge in press conferences by so-called community professionals defending their respective ‘sons’ as they urged the President to re-appoint them.
Others such as CS Eugene Wamalwa (Water) found themselves in hostile territories as they graced public events in upcountry.
Wamalwa, for instance, was ejected from a Maragoli cultural event on the Boxing Day after arriving late at the function attended by among others NASA co-principal Musalia Mudavadi and Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU) Secretary General Francis Atwoli.
Wamalwa was whisked away from a charging crowd by Mudavadi after locals insisted that he leaves the venue.
He has since demanded an apology from the NASA co-leader blaming him for attempting to transform a cultural gathering into a political meeting.
“From 2013 we’ve supported him (Mudavadi) but from December 26 he lost my confidence,” the Water CS lamented on Tuesday.
“I urge my colleagues who attempted to hijack a cultural event and make them a NASA meeting to realise how wrong they were,” Wamalwa said.
Webuye MP Dan Wanyama equally faulted Mudavadi for failing to provide leadership.
“What he exhibited mean that he does not meet the threshold of a leader anywhere; not even a Chairman of a cattle dip,” the Jubilee MP who beat the NASA wave in the Western region to clinch the seat said.