The Star (Nairobi)

9 April 2013

Kenya: Uhuru Expected to Name His Cabinet Tomorrow

PRESIDENT-elect Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to announce his Cabinet nominees tomorrow even before Parliament sets up the committee to vet them. Uhuru, who will be sworn in today with his deputy William Ruto, wants to test public opinion ahead of the vetting.

"The bosses are keen on encouraging public debate and participation to also gauge the mood on one of their first key assignments. They want to be as open with the public as possible," an aide to the two said.

Parliament will start sitting on April 16 and one of its first duties will be to set up various House committees. The Committee on Appointments will vet the nominees before presenting them for approval to the National Assembly.

The Committee will also invite the public to make submissions on the nominees who will be grilled publicly on their qualifications, experience and integrity.

Uhuru and Ruto have identified 22 Cabinet Secretaries with a reserve of another 10 in case some of those nominated do not pass the vetting. The list of 22 includes eight women and has some youthful and new faces.

"There are some names that keep on being mentioned in the media. Very many of them especially current ministers will be surprised when the list is out. They (Uhuru and Ruto) have concentrated on experience and knowledge instead of political patronage. It is a delicate balancing act," a senior member of the Jubilee team said.

Lobbying intensified last weekend as various players tried to angle themselves for positions in the first Jubilee Cabinet that Uhuru and Ruto say will be lean and efficient.

The Constitution requires that the cabinet have between 14 and 22 Cabinet Secretaries and gives guidelines on professionalism, integrity, regional balance and gender equity.

Uhuru, 51, and Ruto, 46, have concentrated on identifying young professionals of around the same age to take up the cabinet roles as well as other positions in their offices and State House. However some of the most critical dockets such as Security and Finance will be taken up by more senior individuals with experience.

Some of those identified for jobs in and out of Cabinet include head of Vision 2030 Mugo Kibati, current Finance PS Joseph Kinyua, TNA officials Onyango Oloo, Jasper Mbiuki and Machel Waikenda, URP officials Millicent Omanga and Nixon Koris, and former IEBC commissioner Davis Chirchir.

Also on the list for consideration are Bidco CEO Vimal Shah, former chairman of the Nairobi Stock Exchange Jimnah Mbaru, former Kenya Commercial Bank boss Martin Oduor-Otieno, Kenya Airways CEO Titus Naikuni, businessman David Langat and former KWS boss Julius Kipng'etich

Abdikadir Mohammed, Eugene Wamalwa, Musalia Mudavadi, Raphael Tuju and Shem Ochuodho are among the few former MPs being considered for the Cabinet. Uhuru and Ruto have identified eight possible women who have not been in government before.

They include State House political adviser Nancy Gitau; Head of Governance at the Treasury, Anne Waiguru; former Justice PS Amina Mohammed; former IIEC commissioner Winnie Guchu; former Kathiani MP Wavinya Ndeti; businesswoman Esther Passaris; Defence PS Nancy Kirui; and deputy head of the Kenya mission in Somalia, Yvonne Khamati.

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