Bloodbath fears as Uhuru’s axe falls on Principal Secretaries

President Uhuru Kenyatta with his South African counterpart Jacob Zuma at State House in Durban. The President is expected to finalise his new Cabinet next week. [PSCU]

The fate of 42 Principal Secretaries currently serving in various ministries hangs in the balance as reports emerged that at least three quarters of them will be dropped.

This comes even as President Uhuru Kenyatta moves to fill his new-look Cabinet next week, effectively bringing to closure anxiety among 13 Cabinet Secretaries who were not retained.

But it is the fate of Principal Secretaries that is likely to send shock waves and kill the dreams of the serving lot, who are clinging onto hope of being re-appointed.

Dirty files

Sources privy to the goings on told Saturday Standard that President Kenyatta felt disappointed by a majority of the Principal Secretaries.

As of yesterday, credible reports suggested less than 10 out of the 42 will make it back.

The sitting PSs were not required to make fresh applications to the Public Service Commission (PSC).

Instead, they wrote to Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua expressing their interest to continue in their positions.

At least 39 of them have expressed their interest in re-appointment.

It is President Kenyatta, in consultation with his deputy William Ruto, to make the appointment, but official communication to the duo is done through the office of Head of Public Service.

Insiders say that many of the Principal Secretaries failed to deliver on their mandate, while some have “dirty files”.

Others have been found to be “just lazy”.

“Many will have it rough this time. The President is keen on delivering his pledges to the Kenyan people.

"If you had been given a chance to serve as PS -- or even CS -- and you have nothing to show for it, then your time is up.

"We don’t know many things about the President and his plans, but I can tell you without a doubt that he will not entertain laziness and mediocrity,” a source close to him said.

It also emerged that the Cabinet Secretaries who were not among the six the president retained, will not make it back.

Credible reports suggest that the President has been consulting various stakeholders over new names to replace the 13 Cabinet Secretaries.

At least six of the remaining 13 slots will be taken up by women. 

Key among the many issues under consideration are regional and gender balance as well as the ability to discharge duties that are key to President Kenyatta’s legacy.

‘Big four’

Uhuru has already identified four areas that will guide his final term.

Christened the ‘Big Four’, their areas include affordable housing through the building 500,000 low cost houses, universal healthcare, irrigation of 1.2 million acres of land to boost food security, and a 10-fold exports increase through manufacturing.

Last week, President Kenyatta shocked many when he declared he was retaining six CS’s in his 19-member cabinet.

He said the retained CSs and new nominees are the “men and women” who will  join him in delivering his promises to Kenyans.

To replace the departing CSs is ex-Turkana Senator John Munyes, former Marsabit Governor Ukur Yattani and immediate former Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Keriako Tobiko, who resigned to join the Cabinet.