President Uhuru Kenyatta is set fire half his Cabinet by end of the month as he seeks to pave way for a Cabinet of strong “Political Operatives” who can help him recover his lost national appeal and hopefully assist to save his elusive legacy working with a set of new PSs having more clout. The move to send all CSs, CASs and PSs on compulsory leave is meant to pave way for the looming reshuffle and gauge the mood of Kenyans.
So far, the President is said to have settled on firing 10 Cabinet Secretaries who comprise Deputy President William Ruto loyalists and a handful political lightweights. Top on the list is Energy CS Charles Keter who was offered the opportunity to switch loyalties to Gideon Moi side to be spared sacking but turned down the offer for fear of possible political repercussions. Isaac Ruto is considered as his likely replacement.
Second in the list is Gideon Moi’s nemesis and Labour CS Simon Chelugui. Gideon Moi is said to be pushing for Chelugui to be axed to get him out of the way and as part of his effort to win Baringo County supremacy battles as the CS already enjoys huge following there. Gideon is lobbying for Chelugui to be replaced by Musa Sirma to avoid hostility in Baringo in event the county lose its cabinet slot.
Land CS Farida Karoney is also up for axing despite keeping away from real politics. Although Karoney is associated with Ruto and after her cabinet appointment tried to keep her distance to appear neutral, insiders say the President is looking to replace her with someone from North Rift who has political clout. Henry Kosgei was offered the slot and turned it down and Sally Kosgey has been considered as a possible replacement.
East African Community CS Adan Mohammed stands to be replaced for lack of political value as he has no constituency of his own. His slot will likely go to a political heavyweight from North Eastern Kenya to counter Adan Duale’s influence and stem the growing hostility against the establishment in the region. Former President’s Advisor Adbikadir Mohammed has been considered as possible replacement for Adan.
Sports CS Amina Mohamed will be given a stop landing as Kenya’s Ambassador to Geneva as she gears to escalate her lobbying efforts for the WTO job. Amina’s sacking has been long overdue given that her appointment offers no value in the way of regional balance as she has never been accepted as representative of Kakamega.
Foreign Affairs CS Rachel Omamo who has survived so far in part due to being an in-law of the Kenyattas is set to be fired, in part, for non-performance and pressure from Raila Odinga against the Omamo Dynasty. It is rumoured that she will be replaced by Interior CS Dr. Fred Matiang’i who Raila wanted fired to avoid undue competition in his Nyanza backyard but Uhuru opted to send him to rot at the Foreign Affairs docket.
Public Service and Gender CS Margaret Kobia is set to be retired from the Cabinet partly due to old age (62 years). Agriculture CS Peter Munya is said to be lobbying for Kobia to be replaced with politically active woman from Meru like Former Women Representative and current Lawyer Ombudsman Florence Kajuju to help swing the region.
Water and Irrigation CS Sicily Kariuki has ran out of luck with her poor performance at Water ministry where she is said to have watered all the gains made by Chelugui said to be one of the reasons the President decided to drop her. Sicily who is originally from Embu but is married in from Nyandarua has also fallen victim of lobbying by Embu County to have one of their own appointed to the Cabinet.
The ailing Defence CS Monica Juma is set to be released from her docket for medical reasons. Wiper Leader Kalonzo Musyoka complicated matters by nominating himself after President Uhuru asked him to name someone from Ukambani to replace her. This has been cited by sources as one reason for delay in the cabinet reshuffle but it seems Kalonzo may be set to make a comeback into the Cabinet after 8 years hiatus.
Environment CS Kariako Tobiko is also up for axing after failing to wield any clout on behalf of the Government in the Maa Community. The appointment of Tobiko has already served its purpose as it was inducement to resign as DPP one year ahead of schedule.Internal Security CAS Patrick Ole Ntutu is rumoured to be a possible replacement of Tobiko due to his acknowledged influence among Maa elders.
The Cabinet reshuffle is also set to affect most of the remaining CSs most of whom are fear they will be moved from their dockets. There is also a proposal to ease Raphael Tuju out of the Cabinet by appointing maximum number of CSs with portfolio. Whatever that happens, pundits unanimously agree that this is President Uhuru Kenyatta’s last cabinet reshuffle that may have any significant impact on his unsure legacy.