President William Ruto will in the coming days make hundreds of lucrative appointments in military, security, ambassadorial and executive positions.
The appointments range from Chief Administrative Secretaries (CASs), security bosses, chairpersons of parastatals, ambassadors and heads of mission, military heads and chancellors of universities as part of Ruto's effort to have control of his Kenya Kwanza government.
Months to the end of his term in office, former President Uhuru Kenyatta made about 200 appointments to parastatal boards of directors.
Four months before he retired, Uhuru appointed 24 new ambassadors, high commissioners and heads of mission.
However, President Ruto has already begun undoing his predecessor's appointments. Before Christmas, he recalled 10 key appointments in State corporations.
The legality of CAS positions has been challenged in court, and the matter is yet to be dispensed with. Should the position be retained, Ruto will likely use it to placate his loyalists who stood with him during the campaigns as well as those that could have played key roles in his political journey.
The CAS positions were created in President Uhuru Kenyatta's second term was populated by politicians allied to Jubilee then.
The Employment and Labour Relations Court in October last year suspended plans to establish the office, pending the determination of a petition filed by the Law Society of Kenya (LSK).
The suspension by Justice Monica Mbaru came a day after the Public Service Commission (PSC) had invited applications for the position that should have run up to October 27. Previously, the PSC had asked for views on the creation of the CAS position as requested by the president.
Stay informed. Subscribe to our newsletter
The LSK had claimed in the petition that plans to establish the office of the CAS were likely to cause a financial strain on Kenyans as they would be forced to cater for extra wages for jobs that can be done by an already established office of the Principal Secretary (PS).
Ruto, sources indicate, has a long list of loyalists who will be keen to find themselves among the over 40 CASs should the courts okay the position.
In the first month of his presidency, Ruto made changes in the National Police Service, with the appointment of Japheth Koome as Inspector General of Police teo replace Hilary Mutyambai who resigned. Mohamed Amin was also appointed Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI), taking over from George Kinoti whom the president sacked.
In the military Vice Chief of the Defence Forces (VCDF) Lt-Gen Francis Ogolla is expected to retire this year while Director General of National Intelligence Service (NIS) Philip Kameru will retire in two years.
Other appointments coming up are those of 56 ambassadors, high commissioners and heads of missions and consulates.
Traditionally, a new president would recall a number of heads of Kenya's missions and replace them with his own men and women as he seeks to secure his foreign policy.
The envoys appointed by Uhuru in April last year included former Dagoretti South MP Dennis Waweru as consul general of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Thomas Kwaka Omolo, alias Big Ted, as consul-general of Los Angeles, United States of America, and former ICT Permanent Secretary Bitange Ndemo as ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium.
Others were former Nyeri Deputy Governor Caroline Karugu to Denmark, former National Assembly Clerk Michael Sialai to Namibia and former Nominated MP Amina Abdalla to the Sultanate of Oman.
Ruto has in the recent past shown a leaning towards the West in his foreign policy and the appointments in the High Commission in the United Kingdom, the embassies in the United States (US), Canada, France, Sweden, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany, among others, will likely be of interest to him.
Other embassies that are likely to be of interest to the president are those in Kenya's trading partners of India, Pakistan, China, Uganda, Tanzania, South Africa, Egypt, Ethiopia, Somalia and DRC and Permanent Missions like the United Nations in New York, Geneva and Switzerland, and Unesco in Paris, France.
Also critical in running his government is the appointment of the chairpersons and members of boards of parastatals.
There are 247 parastatals across all ministries. About 46 of these operate as commercial companies seeking profits and 201 as social corporations.
The president has already made changes in six key parastatals, leaving another 241 that could see a reorganisation in the coming days.
Alongside that, the president will be expected to influence the replacement of a majority of parastatal CEOs whose contracts run up to 2024, picking a cue from previous heads of state who were always keen to influence the leadership of parastatals.
Late last year, Ruto made changes in the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF), National Social Security Fund (NSSF), Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC), Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC), and Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS).
Ruto, in a Gazette notice dated December 23, appointed former Transport Cabinet Secretary Michael Kamau to chair the NHIF board of directors, replacing former Kabete MP Lewis Nguyai. Former Chief of Defence Forces Gen Julius Karangi was moved from NSSF Board of Trustees to the National Council for Population and Development Board.
The president also appointed Lt Gen (Rtd) Walter Rarira Koipation as the chairperson of the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) Board for three years. Koipaton replaced Gen (Rtd) Joseph Kibwana while Faith Boinett took over at KPC from Rita Okuthe whose appointment was revoked.
Earlier, through the National Treasury, KPLC Chairperson Vivienne Yeda was edged out and replaced with Joy Brenda Masinde. At the Kenya Revenue Authority, Antony Mwaura was picked to replace Amb Francis Muthaura.
Other State corporations that will be in Ruto's sight, given their influence, include the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA), Geothermal Development Company (GDC), Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen), Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (Ketraco), National Oil Corporation of Kenya (NOCK) and Rural Electrification Authority (REA).
In the transport and infrastructure sector, key appointments will be in Kenya National Highways Authority (Kenha), Kenya Airports Authority (KAA), Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA), Kenya Ports Authority (KPA), Kenya Ferry Services, Kenya Maritime Authority, Kenya National Shipping Line and Kenya Railways Corporation.
Other critical parastatals in the transport sector are Kenya Roads Board, Kenya Rural Roads Authority (Kerra), Kenya Urban Roads Authority (Kura), the Lapsset Corridor Development Authority and National Transport and Safety Authority.
At the Treasury, the main corporations inlcude the Privatisation Commission, National Bank of Kenya, Kenya Investment Authority, Insurance Regulatory Authority, Public Procurement Oversight Authority, Capital Markets Authority, Retirement Benefits Authority and Deposit Protection Fund.
According to sources at the National Treasury, the changes could also affect the leadership of the East African Development Bank (EADB) where Yeda is the acting Director General. An appointment to the position has been pending for three years.
Ruto will also likely influence the appointments of CEOs of State corporations whose tenures are about to lapse.
Some of the CEOs expected to leave office within the year are KPC boss Macharia Irungu, NHIF CEO Peter Kamunyo, GDC’s Jared Othieno and Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) Governor Patrick Njoroge.