President Uhuru Kenyatta plans to inject new blood into an expanded Cabinet and DP William Ruto is using the reshuffle to position allies crucial to his 2022 State House bid.
Ruto is heir apparent and it’s not too soon to start strategising.
Uhuru is expected to fire at least seven CSs, as he rewards loyalists, gives the boot to non-performers and makes way for Ruto’s people.
The Cabinet has 19 members and the Star has learnt it may be expanded to the maximum of 22 CSs to accommodate more political
appointees and return favours.
Multiple sources within Jubilee circles have revealed the Cabinet changes are aimed at ensuringbe made ambassadors, sources say.
Two new ministries are to be created for politicians who were promised jobs during the campaign.
The proposal is to split Sicily Kariuki’s ministry, making Gender and Youth one and Public Service another docket.
Water and Irrigation are expected to be split.
Names fronted for possible Cabinet appointments include Hassan Omar (former Mombasa Senator and Wiper secretary general), Joyce Lay (former Taita Taveta woman representative), Ababu Namwamba (former Budalang’i MP), Paul Otuoma (former Funyula MP), Rtd Gen Julius Karangi (former Chief of Defence Forces), Peter Muthoka (influential businessman) and Peter Munya (former Meru governor).
Uhuru is deciding who will take over Treasury — Energy PS Joseph Njoroge or KRA director general John Njiraini.
Interior PS Karanja Kibicho played a key role in Uhuru’s reelection and insiders say he might become Chief of Staff and Head of Public Service.
The post is held by Joseph Kinyua, who is due to retire soon.
Others set for plum jobs are Jubilee secretary general Raphael Tuju, former MP David Murathe and Uhuru’s poll agent Davis Chirchir.
Executive director of the NGOs Coordination Board Fazul Mahamed is expected to come on board.
Among those to be purged are those who failed to deliver votes from their regions in the General Election.
The Constitution says the Cabinet must have a minimum of 14 and maximum of 22 CSs.
Uhuru and Ruto will also make other sweeping changes, including in diplomatic missions, CEOs of state corporations and chairpersons and board members of parastatals.
“President Uhuru will be the chief campaigner of his deputy,” Majority Leader Aden Duale told the Star on the phone.
The DP is keen to bring Ukambani, Coast and Western regions to his side. They are traditional opposition strongholds.
But he has poached regional bigwigs to consolidate support for his 2022 bid.
Baringo Senator Gideon Moi has be asked to propose names and is said to have floated a number, which Ruto has rejected. Moi and Ruto are rivals in the Rift Valley. Ruto is keen on having people who will help him prepare and clinch the next election.
He is the automatic Jubilee candidate and expects Uhuru to support him and bring along the Mt Kenya region.
The DP has met the Coast team in two groups at Harambee Annex office.
The first group is headed by former JP Mombasa governor candidate Suleiman Shahbal and running mate Ananiah Mwaboza.
The second team is led by defeated Kilifi governor candidate and outgoing Kilifi North MP Gideon Mung’aro.
The meeting puts CS Kazungu in a difficult position. Jubilee had awarded him the Cabinet post after he ditched ODM and resigned as Malindi MP. But he failed to deliver votes.
The Coast teams discussed key political and economic issues that will shape Ruto’s 2022 bid.
Shahbal is eyeing a Cabinet post, or at least the chairman’s seat on a Coast Economic Forum to be formed soon.
Mung’aro may be named chairman of the Kenya Ports Authority, replacing Marsden Madoka. This will strengthen the DP’s influence at the Coast against his nemesis Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho.
Uhuru wants to leave a legacy but Ruto is focused on his first stab at the presidency.
Days after the disputed August 8 election, Ruto embarked on strategy to poach and position key politicians in strategic places to influence the grass roots and promote his 2022 bid.
Other institutions will be unveiled to push Ruto’s agenda to stimulate regional development.
The team includes the UhuRuto campaign machine, which he will inherit.
Those close to Ruto’s game plan say he is keen on bringing into government regional bigwigs and giving them plum state jobs.
Some election losers will find themselves in the Cabinet.
Barely a week after the August 8 General Election, Ruto started hosting delegations from across the country at his Harambee House Annex, Karen residence and State House in hopes they will come through for him.