Raila also has the critical Local Government docket to fill, which was left vacant by Mudavadi. Regional Development minister Fred Gumo is currently holding the docket on acting capacity.
Budalang’i MP Ababu Namwamba and Mumias MP Benjamin Washiali were initially billed as favourites of the pending appointments on Raila’s side as far as Mudavadi’s former slot is concerned, but Washali has since crossed over to Mudavadi’s side.
But of interest to the country is what Kibaki intends to do with Saitoti’s post, one of the most influential in the country, with tentacles spread every across every office of Government, down to the Counties.
PNU and ODM insiders confided to The Standard Transport minister Amos Kimunya name was being touted for the Internal Security docket owing to his closeness to the President. If Kimunya will be moved to Internal Security, then an MP, from Saitoti’s Maasailand will most likely be picked to replace him in the Transport ministry.
Assistant minister Katoo Ole Metito and Kilgoris MP Gideon Konchella, who has once occupied a Cabinet office, are said to be the most probable candidates for Transport docket. Konchella, a former Immigration minister with a military background is being regarded as the lead contender. He played the Master of Ceremony role in Saitoti’s burial.
In ODM, Raila is under pressure to appoint youthful MPs to full cabinet positions with Magerer touted as the one to replace Kosgey in the Industrialisation docket.
But it is believed that Raila may go for Belgut MP Charles Keter, because of the compelling need to endear himself to the Rift Valley electorate while taking advantage of the silent revolt in the South Rift against Ruto, especially following the rejection of his nominee to the East African Legislative Assembly nominee, Ronald Ngeny, last month.
Dr Adams Oloo, a political analyst and lecturer at University of Nairobi argues Kibaki would definitely have to pick a trusted ally for the key position of Internal security. “Historically the President picks a trusted politician for the docket. Before Saitoti, Kibaki had entrusted the position to Chris Murungaru and John Michuki,” Oloo said.
Gwasi MP John Mbadi and his Rangwe counterpart Martin Ogindo have been mentioned as a possible replacement for Ojode.
The name of Yatta MP Charles Kilonzo has also featured. He was elected on an ODM-Kenya ticket, but is now working closely with Raila.
When contacted, Charles Keter laughed off the matter saying nobody had approached him.
“I am from the wrong side of the (Grand) Coalition and therefore it is not possible for me to be picked,” he argued. There was also talk that Housing Assistant minister Margaret Wanjiru could replace Cooperative Development minister Joseph Nyagah, who has lost interest in ODM.