Outgoing Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala has welcomed the appointment of Peninah Malonza as the next CS in President William Ruto’s administration.
His acceptance comes after Ruto unveiled the names of men and women who will be serving under him as CSs for the next five years in the Kenya Kwanza government.
“I welcome the appointment of Hon. Peninah Malonza as the New Cabinet Secretary for Tourism, Wildlife, and Heritage. You have my full support. God Bless Kenya,” Balala said.
The appointment of Malonza as the new Tourism, Wildlife, and Heritage CS for brings an end to Balala’s 12-year stint at the helm of that docket.
It had been speculated that Ruto would yet again appoint Balala, who stood out as a longest serving CS to serve under the tourism docket in Kenya.
Balala kicked off his political journey while at only 30 years old where he served as the youngest mayor of Mombasa City in from 1998 to 1999.
He vied for the Mvita Parliamentary seat in the 2002 General Election where he served one term before being appointed Minister for Gender, Sports, Culture & Social Services from 2003 to 2004 and Minister for National Heritage & Culture from 2004 to 2005.
In the same office he advocated for community empowerment, promotional of cultural and local heritage, with enthusiasm in conserving the Swahili culture.
Balala made a comeback in the Tourism docket after the 2007 post elections skirmishes where he served under President Mwai Kibaki.
He served in this Ministry to the year 2012 when Kenyans voted in a new administration led by former President Uhuru Kenyatta.
During the 2013 election he unsuccessfully vied for the Mombasa Senatorial seat under the Republican Congress Party of Kenya.
However, he was appointed the first Minister for Mining, where he delivered a Mining Bill Draft in 2014, the first policy and institutional framework review of Kenya’s mining sector since 1940.
During his leadership he was awarded as the best Tourism Minister in Africa. He was also appointed the Chairman of United Nations World Tourism Organisation back in 2009.