At least five Cabinet Secretaries and scores of senior government officials could fall by the wayside as President Uhuru Kenyatta focuses on crafting his legacy cabinet slightly over a year before he exits office, our sources indicate.
Top on the president’s agenda is to solidify his economic and infrastructural legacy, strengthen fight against corruption and advance the constitutional change drive under the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) currently stalled after the High Court ruling termed it illegal.
With only fifteen months before his tenure of office lapses after having served his two-five-year terms in State House, the president is said to have a greater resolve to achieve his agenda with minimal political distractions from within.
“At a time like this, a cabinet reshuffle is inevitable. Some cabinet members both Cabinet Secretaries and Principal Secretaries have had divided attention in their jobs since they are angling to vie in 2022 despite their work having been cut out clearly for them. Definitely those are not people you can keep around as part of your legacy team. They will be on the chopping board.” Our source intimated.
Previously, the president has been on record warning government officials to desist from engaging in politics at the expense of service delivery.
“I have given each one of you responsibilities and assigned different roles. If anyone of you doesn’t want to work, perform or deliver, you can resign. People tend to rely on media reports that I intend to sack some of you but that’s not the position. Hiyo ni ya magazeti (that is for the newspapers),” the President said during a virtual meeting at State House with the top government officials in July last year.
On January 14, 202 President Kenyatta sacked former Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri largely for disobeying his instructions and engaging in politics.
Among those said to be eying elective positions include Interior and Coordination of National Government CS Fred Matiang’i being touted as a potential presidential aspirant.
Others are Water and Sanitation CS Sicily Kariuki eying Nyandarua governor’s seat while her Sports, Culture and Heritage Counterpart Ambassador Amina Chawahir Mohamed Jibril is said to be angling to contest for Kakamega governorship post.
Water Principal Secretary Joseph Irungu is also said to be harbouring intentions to run for Murang’a governorship in 2022.
Health minister Mutahi Kagwe and Labour and Social Protection CS Simon Chelgui are said to be eying Nyeri and Nandi governorship respectively.
The Informer has learnt at least three of the CS’s are playing safe and have already established campaign secretariats to champion their political bids with active back channels comprising of businessmen and political power brokers aligned to Jubilee Party, its splinter group, United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party allied to the Deputy President William Ruto and the Raila Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement (ODM).
However, our source noted that to groom his preferred successors, the president has the leeway of appointing them to plum cabinet positions wielding power and influence.
Some of the career politicians serving in the cabinet and have neither shown interest nor declared willingness to vie include Agriculture CS Peter Munya, Charles Keter (Energy), Najib Balala (Tourism and Wildlife), and their Devolution counterpart Eugene Wamalwa.
Our sources said President Kenyatta hopes the reshuffle will help accelerate implementation of the pending development projects seen as the centerpiece of his final term which has reached homestretch.
With just a week to the 58th Madaraka Day national celebrations to be held at the Jomo Kenyatta International Stadium in Mamboleo Kisumu, the plan envisages breathing new life into the country’s stifling economy by injecting money in health, manufacturing, education and infrastructural sectors.