Just a day after “handshake politics” forced down the eight per cent Value Added Tax (VAT) on Kenyans, President Uhuru Kenyatta awarded cronies and the Opposition with State appointments.
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Cutting across Kenyatta, NASA leader Raila Odinga and his co-principal Kalonzo Musyoka’s political camps, the new appointees range from their aides, former MPs, failed aspirants and party activists.
Leading this team of ODM young turks was NASA CEO Norman Magaya and ODM Secretariat official David Osiany, who landed memberships in Kenya Film Classification and Chemelil Sugar boards respectively.
Also rewarded from Raila’s wing is ODM Vice Chair Thomas Mwadeghu to sit in the Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority board, and former ODM Women’s League Chair Betty Syengo, who gets a seat in the board of the Bomas of Kenya.
But Uhuru’s Jubilee wing took the lion’s share of the appointments, with Jubilee ex-officials Faith Waigwa and Andrew Musangi landing in the lucrative Public Procurement and Administrative Review (PPRB) and Public Procurement and Review boards respectively.
Former Senate Speaker Ekwe Ethuro, who was dropped in favour of Ken Lusaka, will now preside over student loans at the Higher Education and Loans Board (HELB). Lawyer Paul Gicheru who has been heading PPRB now moves to Export Promotion Zones (EPZ) as chair.
Also coming through the Jubilee side is former Meru Senate hopeful on a PNU ticket Mugambi Imanyara, who heads to the Kenya Industrial Estates board as chair, while failed Uasin Gishu gubernatorial aspirant Zedekiah Bundotich alias Buzeki gets to chair the Chemelil Sugar board.
President Kenyatta also appears to have finally remembered Jubilee loyalists in opposition zones. Practically all the appointees from Lower Eastern part of Ukambani formed the core of the team that came to his aid in last year’s polls.
Ex-Wiper Chairman David Musila led the pack alongside former MPs Kisoi Munyao, John Munuve and veteran journalist and now media consultant Charles Mulila.
Musila and Munuve will chair National Museums and Sacco Regulatory Authority boards respectively, while Munyao and Mulila will sit in the EPZ and Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) boards respectively.
The only strictly Wiper man on the list of appointments is party secretariat official Jared Maaka Siso, who will now sit in PPRB chaired by Musangi.
In Western, President Kenyatta remembered former Vihiga Governor Moses Akaranga with a seat at in National Environment Trust Fund board and former MP Yusuf Chanzu, who has been appointed to the board of Consolidated Bank Ltd.
He did not forget the man who first declared him Kenya’s third President in 2013, former Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chair Issack Hassan. He got him to chair the Kenya Industrial Property Institute’s board.
Wife of slain IEBC senior staff Eva Musando will sit in the EPZ board, while Ranalo restaurant owner William Osewe, will sit in the Bomas of Kenya board. Justice (rtd) Muga Apondi is to serve as a member of the Council for Tharaka/Nithi University College.
Other politicians appointed include former MP Jared K’Opiyo, as member of the board of South Nyanza Sugar Company Ltd and former Kisii Mayor Sam Nyangweso as chair of the KBC board.
Non-politician appointees include rugby player Humphrey Kayange and athlete Tecla Lorupe who have been appointed to the boards of Kenya Academy of Sports Council. Former ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Iran Rashid Ali will sit in the Kenya Meat Commission (KMC) board.
Raila’s wife Ida Odinga also joined the ranks of Kenyan women heroines to be decorated with Elder of the Order of the Golden Heart (EGH, Second Class) honour. She was among the three women honoured by the President on Friday.
The other two are the President’s sister, the late Margaret Kenyatta, and Kenya’s first woman Cabinet minister Nyiva Mwendwa. The President also recognised 26 other women with various Burning Spear and Grand Warrior honours.