Why Omamo could give Juma a dose of her own medicine

Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo and her predecessor Monica Juma during a past event. [File, Standard]

In what could be a classic case of karma coming to bite back, former Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma could get the same treatment she doused on her predecessor.

The fate of 11 officers posted by Dr Juma to foreign missions days after she had been moved to the Defence docket, now hangs in the balance.


According to a circular dated January 22, Juma deployed five former police bosses as minister counsellor and another six as immigration attachés, all for a term of 48 months.

But the order came after President Uhuru Kenyatta had moved her to Defence ministry, replacing her with Rachelle Omamo on January 14. Interestingly, Omamo officially took over on January 23, a day after the appointments.

What adds to the dilemma is the fact the Juma herself revoked appointments made by her predecessor Amina Mohammed a few days before she left the docket.

When she took over, Juma did a shakeup that saw more than 100 officers out of Nairobi and even revoked fresh appointments.

On January 20, 2017 Amina posted a record 118 staff to embassies abroad in what could have been her last major assignment as she headed to Addis Ababa to fight for the African Union job, which she lost. But in a circular dated May 23, 2018 Juma moved 117 officers drawn from senior to middle level cadres to foreign missions.

The officers posted as minister counsellor to report on February 28 are William Siaya Atwenje (Abuja, Nigeria), Peter Mwanzia (New Delhi, India), Kingori Mwangi (Islamabad, Pakistan), Kipchanga Simatwa (Canberra, Australia) and Stanley Cheruiyot (Ottawa, Canada).

The other six to report on different dates are Wilfred Wamela (New York, US), Judith Kemunto Mainye (Rome, Italy), Nicky Lenangetai (Abuja Nigeria), Susan Wakiaga (Geneva, Switerzland), Sabina Chao Mwasaru (Hague, Netherlands) and Abdirahman Ayala (Doha, Quatar).

Those to be posted are required to undergo a two-week mandatory training conducted by the Foreign Service Academy (FSA) and subsequently be cleared by the director after evaluation.

“The training will commence on February 2. Please note that all officers are required to confirm in writing that they accept the posting and commit to abide by the Foreign Service Regulations in full,” she said.

Juma left amid unresolved maritime tiff with Somalia, and lobbying for the UN Security Council non-permanent seat for 2021-22. While Kenya defeated Djibouti at the AU, the latter in defiance launched its parallel bid, and has attracted the support of powerful states such as France, US and Arab countries.