Why six Cabinet Secretaries were retained by President Uhuru
Individual performance as well as regional and political representation seemed to have largely influenced the decision by President Uhuru Kenyatta to retain a section of men and women who were in his first cabinet. President Uhuru on Friday during a national address announced the retention of only six Cabinet Secretaries he worked with during his first term in office.
Those who survived the onslaught and will continue serving in the Cabinet include; Fred Matiang’i (Interior), Charles Keter (Energy), Najib Balala (Tourism), Henry Rotich (Treasury), Joe Mucheru (ICT) and James Macharia (Transport). Since his appointment to the cabinet for example, the no-nonsense Matiang’i has always hit the news headlines as he champions for one state cause or another with unbridled and unmatched gusto, rising in less than five years to be the Jubilee administration’s poster
When the President was faced with the headache that came with the switch from analogue to digital migration, it is the tough-talking Matiang’i who neutered the crisis by ensuring that the migration took place despite the uproar it elicited from media and other players. The CS, who successfully managed to deliver a sizable chunk of votes for Jubilee in Kisii and Nyamira Counties, which were previously Opposition zones, has also managed to bring sanity to the education sector. Keter, a former Kericho Senator and the Energy CS is best remembered during his stint in office from 2015 for the much publicized Jubilee flagship ‘Last Mile Connectivity Project’, which has seen the poor connected to the national grid for only Sh15,000. During his tenure, ex-Senator, who hails from the vote rich South Rift region, has always been a constant feature on the side of the President Uhuru and his Deputy William Ruto, as they light up homesteads, some in deep rural villages. Plucked from political oblivion after losing the Mombasa Senate seat in 2013 with an appointment as the Mining CS, Mr Balala an experienced former Minister under the coalition government, is credited with restoring sanity in the mining sector. After he took over the docket, Balala hit the ground running by coming up with Mining Bill 2014 that sought to ensure there was equity in sharing of mineral resources. After he was moved to Tourism, he conspicuously marketed Kenya as the top tourist destination in the world.
Mucheru, a former Google Country manager made a name for himself for driving the Digital Literacy Programme, part of the Jubilee flagship projects. The CS whose docket is key also worked with other stakeholders to ensure the general elections last year were successful. Macharia, according to insiders warmed his way to the heart of the powers that be, by exhibiting a deep understanding of his docket. After he took over at the reigns at the Transport Ministry, under his tenure phase one of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) was completed. Several road expansion projects were also launched across the country under his watch. Mucheru and Macharia both come from the Mt Kenya region. Mucheru hails from Kirinyaga County while Macharia comes from Murang’a County. Rotich, previously worked closely with the President when he was the Minister of Finance during the retired President Mwai Kibaki’s administration.