Following his declaration as winner, President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to re-constitute his Cabinet if his win is not successfully challenged. This being his last term in office, President Kenyatta’s choice is crucial because it will shape his legacy as he exits the scene in 2022.
The president will thus have to make difficult decisions that will bruise egos, injure relationships and careers and disappoint loyalists. The Sunday Standard delved into the ministers who have excelled in the president’s first term and those with baggage of allegations.
SOME HIGH PERFORMERS
Dr Fred Matiang’i: The Education CS and now acting in the Interior docket first served in the Information Communication Technology (ICT) ministry and also acted as Lands CS.
Seen as strict in implementing policies, Matiang’i’s tenure in the Ministry of Education has brought revolutionary reforms, a move that has earned him accolades. The same has been the case in other dockets. So, will Uhuru retain him as he hopes to implement his manifesto on his last term?
Charles Keter: Since the CS Energy was plucked from the Senate, he has been overseeing one of the Jubilee’s flagship projects of connecting power to Kenyans across the country. Under his helm nearly all of the over 23,000 primary schools and secondary schools across the country have been connected to the grid in one of the ambitious.
Uhuru could retain him to oversee other flagship projects that will be launched in the last term. Also as a close ally of both Uhuru and Deputy President William Ruto, Keter will be pivotal in power balance.
James Macharia: The CS Transport and Infrastructure is credited with delivering the ambitious Standard Gauge Railways (SGR) that has become the talking point for the country and a top Jubilee’s campaign agenda. He is also the man behind the massive expansion of the infrastructural network across the country.
President Kenyatta might hope to have Macharia help implement similar flagship projects that will shape his legacy.
WILL THEY MAKE IT BACK?
Hassan Wario: Trusted to drive the government’s agenda in Sports and Culture as outlined in the Jubilee manifesto, one of the controversial issues was the 2016 Rio Olympics fiasco.
On August 25, 2016, Wario had to call the press to his boardroom following a terse order by the President who was touched by the plight of the athletes who gave Kenya its best ever performance in the games.
The Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko has since recommended his prosecution over the scandal that shamed the nation. Some of the games officials were also charged with various allegations.
Mwangi Kiunjuri: The Devolution CS was appointed from political cold after he lost in the Laikipia gubernatorial race in 2013. Kiunjuri had chosen to vie on the Grand National Union, against the wave of Uhuru’s The National Alliance party.
He is currently facing investigations by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) over alleged loss of millions of shillings under the relief food programme.
His investigation file had initially been taken by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) but the Director of Public Prosecutions directed that the same be placed under EACC. He also came under fire during elections, with some leaders accusing him of interfering with the party nominations and supporting. He denied the claims.
Cleopa Mailu: The Health Cabinet Secretary has been under pressure over the so-called health scandal which hit headlines months ago, and the handling of health workers strikes. The scandal that hit the ministry was exposed via a leaked internal audit report that suggested millions of shillings had been lost.
But Mailu defended himself, saying the claims were based on an interim audit which was an ongoing process that was supposedly leaked to the media before the authors of the audit could respond to the matters raised therein.