The Weekly Vision has been told that the President did not consult his deputy Rigathi Gachagua about the new changes before making the list public. This would explain why the DP’s views and suggestions may not have been captured in the whole exercise. Be it as it may, the DP is the greatest casualty in the whole cabinet shuffle after the President intentionally expanded the Office of the Prime Cabinet Secretary headed by Musalia Mudavadi to include the Ministry of Foreign and Diaspora Affairs previously held by Alfred Mutua to the chagrin of DP Gachagua
Political power games played out following a mini cabinet shuffle made by President William Ruto two days ago, as usual in this kind of situation, there were losers and winners. Many people believed that a cabinet reshuffle was long overdue, but instead of firing the worst-performing CSs and hiring new ones, the President, in his wisdom, offered them a soft landing, moving them to dockets believed to wield less clout.
The Weekly Vision has been told that the President did not consult his deputy Rigathi Gachagua about the new changes before making the list public. This would explain why the DP’s views and suggestions may not have been captured in the whole exercise. Be it as it may, the DP is the greatest casualty in the whole cabinet shuffle after the President intentionally expanded the Office of the Prime Cabinet Secretary headed by Musalia Mudavadi to include the Ministry of Foreign and Diaspora Affairs previously held by Alfred Mutua to the chagrin of DP Gachagua.
The cabinet reorganization has given Mr. Mudavadi more clout because foreign affairs ministry is believed to be among the most powerful dockets after Finance and Interior. Politically speaking, the new move has further watered-down DP Gachagua’s political influence, while boosting Musalia’s at the same time. The new docket will give Mudavadi much-needed foreign exposure, endear him to the international community, and improve his international networks. Even before that Mudavadi had been representing the president in almost all international meetings, something that has never gone down well with Gachagua, he and his Mount Kenya allies are now crying foul.
The second biggest casualty after DP Gachagua is Alfred Mutua who was moved to the Ministry of Tourism and Heritage, which has been reconstituted and renamed the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife, the docket was previously headed by Peninah Malonza. Sources say President Ruto had to balance service delivery and political interests. In the case of Alfred Mutua, the president’s priority was service delivery.
Before ditching Azimio to join Kenya Kwanza, Mutua had negotiated with William Ruto for the position of CS foreign affairs. That was an agreed deal, and after he failed to deliver, the president had no option but to transfer him to the less lucrative docket of tourism. Peninah Malonza will replace Miano at the Ministry of East African Community, Arid and Semi-Arid Lands, and Regional Development.
Another casualty is Ababu Namwamba, previously of Youth Affairs. The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has also been reconstituted and renamed the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, with Ababu Namwamba retained in the same ministry.
However, the arts and heritage dockets have been removed from the ministry to Aisha Jumwa’s who is now CS for Gender, Culture, the Arts, and Heritage. According to the list, the greatest casualty is immediate former Investments, Trade, and Industry Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria, who has now been moved to the Ministry of Public Service, Performance, and Delivery Management.
Mr Kuria’s transfer did not surprise many, as he had underperformed. Sources say he had negotiated for the ministry with William Ruto before the elections. Kuria said soon after his appointment to the ministry, he was going to serve the interests of his Kikuyu community, alleging that the regime of President Uhuru Kenyatta had destroyed the Kikuyu-owned business empire and that there was a need to appoint a Kikuyu to the docket to take care of their interests.
The President ensured that the trade docket remained within the Mount Kenya community to avert any fallouts by reassigning Rebecca Miano, who until the changes was the CS for the East African Community, Arid and Semi-Arid Lands, and Regional Development.
Sources say Ruto had noticed that Kuria was playing politics with the docket, more so during his tours to launch industrial parks, and sometimes making comments that did not reflect the government’s position but his personal views. Miano is not a politician, and the president believes she can deliver.
The embattled Water, Sanitation, and Irrigation CS Alice Wahome has been moved to the powerful Ministry of Lands, previously headed by Zacharia Mwangi Njeru. Njeru heads to the water docket. Sources say Ruto has played politics with this transfer after allegations by a section of Mount Kenya leaders that Wahome’s principal secretary, Kipronoh Ronoh, was being used to fight the CS.
The two have never read from the same script, and there have been calls by a section of Kalenjin leaders that Wahome has underperformed and needs to be sacked. The matter took a tribal angle, with Mount Kenya leaders also accusing their Kalenjin counterparts of frustrating one of their own. Ruto has, however, played it safe by transferring her to a more powerful docket at the chagrin of Kalenjin leaders, who had pushed for her dismissal.