PRESIDENT Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga are likely to reshuffle their Cabinet this week.
The two principals have reportedly agreed on the new list for Cabinet to fill the vacancies caused by recent defections and the deaths of two ministers in an air crash.
Sources within ODM have told the Star that Raila has completed the list for his side of the coalition to fill the gaps left by the defection of Musalia Mudavadi to UDF and the death of Internal Security Assistant Minister Orwa Ojode. President Kibaki reportedly finalized his positions before he left for Burundi on Sunday. He was expected to return yesterday afternoon.
On the PNU side President Kibaki will bring in only one newcomer but shuffle several others portfolios. Raila has the largest number of slots to fill including the ministries of Local Government and Industrialization as well as assistant ministerial positions. The imminent reshuffle, according to multiple sources, is likely to see ODM chairman Henry Kosgey return as Industrialisation minister.
Last week, the High Court cleared the Tinderet MP of criminal charges in January 2011 relating to importation of over-age cars. Kosgey then stepped aside as Industrialization minister to clear his name. At the same time Kosgey was also facing possible charges of crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court over the 2008 post election violence. The ICC Pre-Trial Chamber declined to confirm the charges in January this year.
Magarini MP Amason Kingi, who is also the Fisheries minister, has been acting in the ministry since then. On the PNU side, President Kibaki is expected to bring Kilgoris MP Gideon Konchella into the cabinet . Konchella is likely to become the Minister for Nairobi Metropolitan Development which is currently held by Kigumo MP Jamleck Kamau.
Kamau is poised to be transferred to the Transport ministry currently held by Amos Kimunya. Kimunya, who is Kipipiri MP, is likely to become the new Minister for Provincial Administration and Internal Security formerly occupied by Prof George Saitoti who died in a helicopter crash together with his assistant Orwa Ojode on June 10.
Defence minister Yusuf Haji has been acting since June 18 in the sensitive ministry. Some insiders have expressed reservations about Konchella getting Transport which they consider less powerful than Internal Security. Konchella, a former Immigration minister, is considered the senior most politician from Maasai community allied to President Kibaki who could fill in the place of Saitoti both politically and in government.
On Saturday PNU's National Executive Committee selected Konchella as its new chairman to replace Saitoti on an interim basis. On the ODM side, Fred Gumo is expected to be confirmed as Local Government minister where he has been acting since Musalia Mudavadi resigned when he joined the United Democratic Front party in March.
Assistant Transport minister Hassan Joho is likely to take over Gumo's post as Regional Development minister. Budalangi MP Ababu Namwamba, the self declared commander of Operation Okoa Raila, is likely to be appointed to the PM's office as the assistant minister. He will take over from Alfred Khangati, who is expected to move to the Office of the President as Internal Security assistant minister to replace the late Ojode.
George Khaniri and Manyala Keya are expected to be eased out of their portfolios after they joined Mudavadi in defecting from ODM to UDF. Khaniri is Information assistant minister while Keya (Lurambi MP) is Gender assistant minister. Wilberforce Ottichilo (Emuhaya) is set to take the Information post while Sotik MP Joyce Laboso will be moved to the Gender ministry as Raila tries to appease the perennially unsettled Kipsigis of the South Rift. Webuye MP Alfred Sambu is likely to move to Transcom House as Transport assistant minister to replace Joho after he goes to Regional development.