Ruto promises Kenya Kwanza poll losers jobs

President William Ruto. [Kelly Ayodi, Standard]

President William Ruto, and his deputy Rigathi Gachagua yesterday met Kenya Kwanza poll losers at State House in Nairobi.

The early morning meeting was attended by about 50 members of the coalition who lost in the August 9 General Election. The leaders were promised appointments as parastatal heads, board membership to state corporations and Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS).

Sources said the purpose of the meeting was to assure the leaders they had not been forgotten and would be needed to implement the government's agenda.

The leaders who attended the meeting were former Kakamega Senator Cleopas Malala and former Kiminini MP Chris Wamalwa who unsuccessfully vied for Kakamega and Trans Nzoia governorship respectively.

Others were former MPs Benjamin Washiali, Charles Njagua, Kimani Ngunjiri, Kate Waruguru, Isaac Mwaura, Caleb Kositany and former Nominated Senator Millicent Omanga among others.

Mr Washiali, the long-serving Mumias East MP who did not defend his seat said the meeting was a chat between old friends.

"The common factor among the attendees was that they are all part of Kenya Kwanza coalition and they were sitting MPs but are currently out," the former MP said

"We came out of the meeting assured that we have not been forgotten. The president and his deputy have met with the elected members of the coalition and they felt it was time to meet us too," he added.

Washiali said that while the meeting was informal, a reunion of old friends, the discussion ventured to the possibility of some of them being appointed as CAS should the court decide the matter favourably.

A source intimated that Ruto talked about folding up of Kenya Kwanza affiliate parties with a view of forming one formidable political party.

UDA Chairman Johnston Muthama has been categorical that all Kenya Kwanza affiliate parties must fold up to give way for UDA to avoid unhealthy competition in the next General Election.

This week marks 100 days in office of President Ruto's Kenya Kwanza administration.

The Head of State is putting final pieces in a government whose appointments have favoured politicians.

But there are still others who are hopeful that the president will look upon them favorably, especially since the position of CAS still holds promise.

Those who miss out on the 23 CAS slots or ambassadorial positions will have to wait for state corporation and parastatal jobs.

Ruto has settled some of his allies such as former Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu who was ostracized after his impeachment but now sits in the nine-member Nairobi River Commission.

Others have landed at the East African Legislative Assembly like and more await.

Howver, a case has been filed challenging the planned appointment of CAS

The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) argued that the Public Service Commission violated the Constitution by advertising for the CAS positions without disclosing to the public the effect of hiring persons who are not identified by the Constitution.

LSK insists that CASs serve a similar role as Principal Secretaries and continuing with the offices created by Uhuru Kenyatta will lead to a bloated civil service and wage bill.

Washiali said the president was optimistic that the court will rule in favour of the government and allow PSC to proceed with the recruitment of CAS.