William Ruto names key State House officials ending anxious wait

"It is notified that President William Samoei Ruto has made appointments to the senior ranks of the Executive Office of the President as follows...," read a statement by outgoing Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua.

Former Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Felix Koskei was appointed the Chief of Staff and Head of Public Service replacing Mr Kinyua who has served for the last 10 years.

Mr Koskei, who is a member of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), served as Agriculture CS between April 2013 and March 2015 when he was suspended from office.

Former Turkana Governor Josphat Nanok has been appointed the Deputy Chief of Staff. Mr Nanok seemed to have been primed for the position given his contribution during the presidential campaigns.

In the run up to the August 9 polls, Nanok spearheaded nine committees namely the presidential campaign steering council, diaspora, communication committee, foreign relations, economic advisory, politburo, legal, governance and human rights and the United Democratic Alliance leadership structure.

Various committees

Nanok also oversaw the crafting and implementing of strategies and activities, simultaneously ensuring coordination between the various committees.

Economist David Ndii was named the chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisors. He was another critical cog in Ruto's campaign machine and the brains behind the "bottom-up economic model."

He was at the forefront of the county economic forums and drafted the county economic charters which were part of the Kenya Kwanza manifesto launched a month to the elections.

He served alongside Eliud Owalo, Dr Irene Asienga, Augustine Cheruiyot, Dr Robert Muriithi and Dr Crispin Bokea.

Prior to his partnership with Ruto, Ndii was part of the team that developed Kenya's Economic Recovery strategy in 2002 shortly after the President Mwai Kibaki-led Narc government assumed power.

Ndii is also a co-founder of the Institute of Economic Affairs and has previously worked with Raila Odinga's Nasa presidential campaign team in 2017.

Ruto's aide, Augustine Cheruiyot, was appointed Senior Advisor and Head of Economic Transformation Secretariat. During the campaigns, he served as the secretary in all of Ruto's presidential campaign formations.

Dr Kamau Thugge, a former Treasury PS, will be Senior Advisor and Head of Fiscal Affairs and Budget Policy.

Thugge had, alongside other people, been accused of jointly conspiring to defraud the government of Sh55.04 billion by entering into a deal to construct two dams in Elgeyo-Marakwet County without approval.

Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji, however, withdrew charges against Thugge after he agreed to be a State witness in the case in 2021. Prior to serving as a PS, he served as a senior economic adviser in the Ministry of Finance from the year 2010.

He was the head of the Fiscal and Monetary Affairs Department, Treasury between 2004 to 2005, and the Economic Secretary and Head of Economic Affairs Department, Treasury between 2005 and 2008.

Mr Mohammed Hassan has been appointed a member of the President's Council of Economic Advisors while Dr Nancy Laibuni will be associate member to the President's Council of Economic Advisors.

The coveted and equally influential State House Comptroller position went to Katoo ole Metito, a former Kajiado governorship hopeful and MP.

Former journalist Hussein Mohamed will be the State House Spokesperson having served as head of communications for President Ruto's campaign secretariat. The former news anchor ditched the screens and went ahead to work as a communications consultant with various agencies.

And Mr David Mugonyi, who served as the spokesperson of Ruto when he was the Deputy President between 2013 and 2022, is now in charge of the Presidential Communication Service.