Najib Balala master schemer or political survivor?

Najib Balala congratulates President-elect William Ruto. [Twitter: @tunajibu]

Balala's message raised eyebrows among some Kenyans who flooded the comment section, poking fun at his 'strategic' timing.

"Alaar! Man's has already sent his CV to the President-elect," tweeted Muhammad Onyango.

Damaris Mabeya: Congratulations our new Tourism CS.

Wanjiru Kung'u: Get that bag ... When I grow up I want a soft life like yours ...

@eng_kimathitim said, "That was fast bwana CS". To which @AtienoB1 replied, "Time is money."

Former Ainabkoi MP William Chepkut simply responded, "Chess master".

Balala is a politician of nine lives known for steadying the tourism docket in three successive governments.

His longevity in national politics is attributed it to his prowess in strategically positioning himself politically in new political dispensations.

Track record

Najib Balala is among the longest-serving ministers in the Kenyan government.

He has been in service for over 25 years, with 17 years as a minister - 12 years of which he stood at the helm of the Tourism ministry.

He started his public service career after being the mayor of Mombasa in 1998 and served as MP for Mvita Constituency between 2002 and 2013.

During his tenure as Mvita MP, he also served as a Minister for Gender, Sports, Culture and Social Services from 2003 to 2004, and Minister for National Heritage from 2004 to 2005.

His career was however blotted when he was fired by President Mwai Kibaki as part of a purge of those who campaigned against the draft constitution in the 2005 referendum.

Balala wasn't in the cold too long, he made a come-back in 2007 in the Tourism ministry under the Mwai Kibaki - Raila Odinga coalition government.

In 2013, he unsuccessfully contested for Mombasa Senate under the Republican Congress Party of Kenya (his own party).

Balala served as the first Minister in the Ministry of Mining, and is credited with delivering the Draft Mining Bill in 2014, the first policy and institutional framework review of Kenya's mining sector since 1940.

He has advocated for community empowerment, and promotion of cultural and local heritage, with enthusiasm for conserving the Swahili culture.

"No one wants to be in the opposition. It's cold there and even those who are keen on being elected know that. I have been in government since 1998 and I will be in the next one and serve in any position that is there for the good of all Kenyans," Balala once said, as quoted by the Nation.

The 55-year-old politician is a husband, with four children.