The Abawanga kingdom has gotten the first Cabinet Secretary (CS) since independence.
Despite the clan being known across the world due to its paramount King Nabongo Mumia, it was until President Uhuru Kenyatta unveiled his full cabinet on Friday that the clan got its first CS.
Rashid Achesa Mohammed was named by President Uhuru Kenyatta as CS for Sports and Heritage.
“This is the first time Abawanga are producing the first CS. We have had assistant ministers before but now we have a full minister. We thank President Kenyatta for considering us,” said King Peter Mumia II.
The king lauded Jubilee government for appointing Eugene Wamalwa (Devolution) and Ababu Namwamba as Chief Administrative Secretary in the ministry of foreign affairs.
“The community is now part of the government. As a kingdom we are non-partisan but we support the government of the day. We urge those appointed to serve all Kenyans,” he said.
The appointment of Mohammed also ended five years of cold for Kakamega County which had missed a slot in the last cabinet.
The county had only one Principal Secretary for ICT Sammy Itemere who did not make it to the new cabinet.
“In the last cabinet we had missed out but the Head of State has remembered as people of Kakamega. We promise to work and support his government,” said Hamisi Waswa, Jubilee youth leader in western.
MPs from the region from across political divide lauded the President for picking leaders from the region.
Emmanuel Wangwe (Navakholo) and Justus Murunga (Matungu) said they will support the new cabinet to deliver.
“We are now part of the government as a community. We should support the government to continue initiating development in the region. I urge the CSs to work hard and fulfill the development plan of Jubilee government,” said Wangwe.
Murunga of ANC asked the CSs to serve Kenyans regardless whether they voted for Jubilee or not.
“I will support the appointment of Mohammed and I will offer my support to him. We should set aside our political affiliation and support him because he is from our community,” Murunga said.
“We expected more slots but we must appreciate for what we have been given.”
Former Kakamega gubernatorial candidate Michael Osundwa (ANC) acknowledged President Kenyatta for appointing CS from Mumias.
He urged Mohammed to speed up reforms in the ministry to benefit sport fraternity in the country.
“He is taking over a ministry that has had its share of challenges. We know he will address the challenges on time. We congratulate him for the appointment and urge him to transform sport sector in the country,” said Osundwa.
“The cabinet reflect the face of Kenya. As a community we are well represented and we thank President Kenyatta for the appointment of Mohammed as CS for Sports and Heritage.
And while speaking in Mumias town yesterday, residents said the region especially the Abawanga Kingdom have been remembered since independence.
County Jubilee Party Chairman Moses Lumiti said Kakamega County as whole has finally been remembered as President Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto promised during campaigns.
“We are very grateful to the President and his Deputy William Ruto for considering our region. We are glad that we have gotten the lions share in the national cake,” said Lumiti.
He said efforts to popularize JP in an area previously perceived to be opposition’s stronghold have paid off.
“In Western we have been awarded with Senate Speaker, Chief Whip and two cabinet positions which we cannot take lightly.
“We are happy that even if Rashid lost Mumias West parliamentary seat in the just concluded elections he has been rewarded for being number one crusader of the President’s Party. We are going to support him so that he may deliver on his mandate,” Lumiti added.
Margret Owea who represents women in Jubilee Party said they are confident that Rashid will clear the mess the ministry has been grappling with.
In Busia, appointment of the former Budalang’i MP Namwamba to the cabinet received a cold reception.
However, some Jubilee and Labour Party officials welcomed the appointment and urged President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto to consider former Funyula MP Paul Otuoma.
Bunyala Central MCA Felix Omanyi said Mr Namwamba was up to the task affirming that he has requisite experience and qualification to deliver in the ministry.
He asked the nominee for the Devolution Eugene Namakwa to strengthen devolution by ensuring money for the development reaches counties for people to feel devolution.