The Standard Group Plc is a multi-media organization with investments in media platforms spanning newspaper print operations, television, radio broadcasting, digital and online services. The Standard Group is recognized as a leading multi-media house in Kenya with a key influence in matters of national and international interest.
  • Standard Group Plc HQ Office,
  • The Standard Group Center,Mombasa Road.
  • P.O Box 30080-00100,Nairobi, Kenya.
  • Telephone number: 0203222111, 0719012111
  • Email: [email protected]

Loyalty test as Ruto solidifies his inner circle


President William Ruto [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

President William Ruto has finally pieced together the team that will make up his government and is now making final touches to unveil the new administration.

After unveiling the 22 men and women who will sit in his Cabinet, the president has taken his time to pick out the core members of his inner circle who will be the engine that drives his government.

And even as the country waits for approval of the Cabinet nominees by Parliament, President Ruto has already selected members whose offices do not require vetting by the August House.

This move has already set the ball rolling for radical changes in the new administration.

The Head of State's decision to promote his Aide-De-Camp Brigadier Timothy Lekolool and replace him with Colonel Fabian Lengusuranga is already an indication of major reorganisation in the administration.

Among the members at the heart of the presidency are the Private Secretary to the president, the Chief of Staff, State House Comptroller, Head of Civil Service, the Solicitor General and Head of the Public Strategic Communications Unit.

Head of Public Service, Joseph Kinyua, remains on contract and is awaiting direction from the Head of State on whether to continue or halt his appointment, as is State House Comptroller Kinuthia Mbugua.

In a bid to bring on board officials he can rely on to the inner core of his administration, President Ruto is expected to select his most trusted allies, some who missed out on Cabinet appointments, and others who backed his State House bid.

According to multiple sources, former Turkana Governor Josphat Nanok has been touted as a likely candidate for Chief of Staff, a position that was previously occupied by Nzioka Waita.

Waita resigned to contest unsuccessfully for Machakos governor seat, while Nanok was the head of President Ruto's campaign secretariat.

The names of Kiharu Member of Parliament (MP) Ndindi Nyoro and former Soy MP Caleb Kositany have featured as most likely to succeed Davis Chirchir, who until his nomination as Energy Cabinet Secretary was Ruto's Chief of Staff.

At the same time, Reuben Maiyo, President Ruto's private secretary since 2015, is expected to accompany his boss to State House in the same capacity. As for the powerful seat of State House Comptroller, there are indications that the Head of State could easily pick Kositany.

The president is also expected to make changes in the high command of the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF), the National Intelligence Service (NIS), the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and the National Police Service.

Reorganisation of the National Police Service kicked off with the nomination of Japheth Koome as Inspector General of Police after outgoing IG Hillary Mutyambai opted to proceed on terminal leave.

Meanwhile, regional and county commissioners are also expected to be picked in the unfolding changes.

At the international level, the president is keen to buttress the country's foreign policy and is expected to appoint new envoys to strategic partner nations, notably the G7 and other key regional states.

The appointments will complete the naming part of his larger circle, which includes the Cabinet and parliamentary leadership.

In his sunset days at State House, former president Uhuru Kenyatta made several appointments in the KDF and diplomatic missions. It, however, remains to be seen if President Ruto will retain the appointees.

Chief of Defence Forces General Robert Kibochi, who came into office in May 2020, is expected to exit office early next year when he attains the retirement age of 62.

According to General Daudi Tonje rules, a General is required to retire at 62 years. The rules further state that the Chief of Defence Forces, his deputy and service commanders shall serve a single term of four years or retire upon attaining the mandatory retirement age.

In the Tonje rules which state that the CDF position is rotational, General Kibochi, having been a Kenya Army commander, will be replaced by a Kenya Air Force General.

In the Kenya Air Force, the succession battle for the CDF post will be between Lt Gen Francis Ogolla and Lt Gen Hussein Badi who completed his tenure at the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) this month.

It is, however, not clear if Ruto will retain Philip Kameru as the NIS boss, seeing as the position is crucial on matters intelligence and government administration.

Once Parliament vets and approves the appointment of Defence Cabinet Secretary nominee Aden Duale, Ruto will immediately call for a Defence meeting dubbed 'Board One' with the Defence CS and the Defence Council.

Meanwhile, Ruto is reportedly in a catch-22 on who to pick as Head of the Presidential Strategic Communication Unit, who will double up as the State House spokesperson.

The position currently held by Kanze Dena is likely to be occupied by President Ruto's long-term communication secretary David Mugonyi, the 2022 presidential campaign spokesperson Hussein Mohammed or Head of Communications, Emanuel Tallam.

As for the Solicitor General post, the President is expected to pick his legal advisor Korir Singoey to replace Kennedy Ogeto.

Ogeto is said to be in the new administration's crosshairs after he was adversely mentioned by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chair Wafula Chebukati as part of a group of 'powerful individuals' who allegedly attempted to influence the presidential election outcome to favour Azimio flagbearer Raila Odinga.

In the Office of the First Lady Rachel Ruto, another overhaul is imminent to complement the recent appointment of former TV host Michael Gitonga as communications director.

All the names handpicked for their new appointments must be forwarded to the Public Service Commission for subsequent engagement.

Related Topics


Trending Now


Popular this week