Kenya: CSs to Resume Work Amid Anxiety Over Cabinet Reshuffle


Cabinet secretaries are set to resume duties on Monday after the Christmas recess amid fears of a looming reshuffle.

Also set to resume duties are Principal secretaries, who were sent on the “compulsory” recess alongside their bosses through a letter by Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua on December 18.

This will be preceded by a meeting between President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga in Mombasa Saturday.

Mr Odinga, Saturday Nation established, flew to the coastal city on Thursday evening ahead of Saturday’s meeting.

“Mzee left for Mombasa Friday, he is scheduled to meet the President for consultations,” said Mr Odinga’s aide who sought anonymity because the meeting is private.

ASSIGNMENTS

President Kenyatta had in the circular by Mr Kinyua directed all the CSs, Attorney-General and PSs to proceed on the recess.

The circular further required them to designate a senior officer in their respective dockets to be in charge throughout the period. The officers were required to deal with routine assignments.

Their return is, however, overshadowed by reports of an impending Cabinet reshuffle as President Kenyatta, who has spent the Christmas and New Year holidays in Mombasa, reportedly plans to reorganise his government 10 months after his famous handshake with Mr Odinga.

President Kenyatta has recently publicly rebuked some of his Cabinet secretaries over below-par performance amid calls by Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka for the formation of a government of national unity.

Among the ministers whom the President has rebuked in public is Agriculture CS Mwangi Kiunjuri in the wake of the maize scandal. This was after the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) paid out billions of shillings to unscrupulous persons at the expense of genuine farmers who had delivered their crop to its various depots in the North Rift and Western Kenya.

CONFUSION

Speaking during the Nairobi International ASK show late last year, the President warned Mr Kiunjuri over the scandal in the full glare of the public. Addressing the nation at State House Mombasa last Friday, President Kenyatta promised to make public and act on the findings of an investigations team set up to probe the scandal.

Several CSs are also on the spot after institutions under their watch were implicated in corruption scandals.

In an exclusive interview with the Nation last weekend, Mr Musyoka called on President Kenyatta to form an all-inclusive government in order to unite the country.

Mr Musyoka, however, made it clear that he and his fellow Nasa principals Odinga and Musalia Mudavadi did not expect positions in the re-organised government.

Among the ministries which have been in the news for all the wrong reasons include Education (Amina Mohamed), Agriculture, Sports headed by Rashid Echesa and Petroleum and Mining (John Munyes).

Recently, the President apologised to Kenyans over the confusion in the roll-out of the new curriculum just days after Ms Mohamed told the Senate Education committee that it was not implementable for the time being.

He said the curriculum is important as it will cater for the needs of the future generations.

INCOMPETENCE

“This curriculum is important because it holds what our future generations need,” he said.

Mr Kiunjuri is on the spot over the myriad corruption scandals at his ministry — maize and supply of fake fertilisers to farmers.

Although the scandals happened before he was appointed to the ministry early last year, the President has not hesitated to remind him to ensure that traders who conspired with the NCPB management to pocket at least Sh8 billion meant for maize farmers are brought to book.

Other than being accused of mishandling the National Amputee Football Team’s World Cup trip to Mexico last year as well as delayed payment of allowances to players, Mr Echesa has been on the spot over his educational qualifications.

According to Mr Barasa Nyukuri, a governance expert, the reshuffle is long overdue. “It should have happened immediately the President embraced Mr Odinga, but was delayed ostensibly to give room for wider consultations,” Mr Barasa said . “There is dire need for change in government. Some of the people the President is working with have openly exhibited incompetence while others are mired in corruption scandals,” he said.

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Publish date : 2019-01-05 14:02:39

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