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Balala's message as he hands over Tourism docket

 Outgoing Tourism CS Najib Balala. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

Najib Balala has welcomed the appointment of Peninah Malonza as the new Cabinet Secretary for Tourism.

Through a post on social media, Balala pledged to support Malonza in her role as he also looked back on his tenure in government.

“Congratulations to President William Ruto on unveiling your New Cabinet Team. I am honoured to have served my country for the past 24 years, since being Mombasa Mayor, in 1998, to now serving as the Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife.

“I welcome the appointment of Hon. Peninah Malonza as the New Cabinet Secretary for Tourism, Wildlife, and Heritage. You have my full support. God Bless Kenya,” he tweeted.

Some quarters expected Balala to retain his position in government largely due to his non-partisan demeanor in the run-up to the elections but Ruto opted to reward his loyal foot-soldiers.

 Peninah Malonza (C) during a past event. [File, Standard]

Balala was also among the first CSs who served under the previous regime to congratulate Ruto on his election, lauding his ability to transform the country.

At the time, a section of netizens claimed he was trying to ‘secure the bag’ under the new administration.

“It is by God's grace and the true will of the people, you were elected President. You have the ability to transform this country for the betterment of all,” wrote Balala.

Simon Chelugui is the only CS from former President Uhuru Kenyatta’s cabinet who was retained by Ruto.

In a list unveiled Tuesday at State House, President Ruto reassigned the Labour and Social Protection CS to the Cooperatives docket.

Chelugui previously served as the Cabinet Secretary for Water, Sanitation and Irrigation during Uhuru's presidency.

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