Why I shelved ambition for Marsabit Governorship - Ukur Yatani

National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ekur Yatani. [Courtesy]

Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani will not have a second shot at the Marsabit Governorship race in the August 9 General Election.

Yatani, who lost the Marsabit County Gubernatorial seat in 2017, said that he will continue serving at the Treasury as a CS, even as he urged the people of Marsabit to support Azimio La Umoja Movement.

The CS said that he shelved his political ambitions, albeit temporarily, to support President Uhuru Kenyatta consolidate his legacy and preside over a smooth transition after the August 9 polls.

“Conscious of the critical role of the Office of the Cabinet Secretary for the National Treasury, particularly during a political transition like this, thoughtfully aware of the expectations of the Marsabit residents, I have carefully weighed in the dictate of my current national duty, respect for my president and the push to offer myself for Gubernatorial candidate for Marsabit County.

“In this regard, I have, therefore, reached the decision not to run in the forthcoming August 9th General election, but instead continue to support the President in his quest to consolidate his legacy and preside over a smooth transition,” said Yatani.

A long-serving civil servant, Yatani started his career as a District Officer Cadet (now Assistant County Commissioner) before being promoted to a District Commissioner.

At one point, he was Kenya’s Representative to the United Nations, in Geneva, and would later be appointed back to the government by President Uhuru Kenyatta after losing the Marsabit governorship seat in the 2017 elections.

After announcing that he has dropped his gubernatorial bid, Yatani, 54, asked Marsabit residents to rally behind Raila Odinga’s presidential candidature.

“To the people of Marsabit…I shall endeavour to meet some of these expectations from my current national platform while wishing you God’s guidance as you make an informed decision to choose your next set of leaders from the Azimio La Umoja Movement headed by Raila Odinga," he said.

Yatani previously served as a Member of Parliament for North Horr Constituency between 2006-2007. He succeeded Bonaya Godana who died in a plane crash in April 2006.

In 2009, Yatani was named Ambassador to Austria in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Kenya's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Vienna, a position that he held until 2012.

He also served as an Assistant Minister, Ministry of Science and Technology.

After losing the Marsabit governorship seat in 2017, he was appointed as the Labour and Social Protection Cabinet Secretary (2019-2020), and later succeeded Rotich, who was sacked over the Arror-Kimwarer dams scandal.