When Charles Korgoren Kerich was interviewed in October last year, he had been shortlisted by Governor Mike Sonko to become the ICT and E-Government executive in his inaugural cabinet.
He duly sailed through the vetting process by the Nairobi County Assembly Appointments Committee and a month later he was sworn for that position.
Also a year down the line, the former Radio Africa Group Editor-in-Chief has grown in stature to become Governor Sonko’s ‘Mr Fix It’.
He is the go-to county executive whenever Mr Sonko is making changes to his cabinet having held fort at four county departments since being sworn in last November.
Apart from the ICT and E-Government that he was vetted for last year, Mr Kerich has been at the helm of Finance and Health dockets in an acting capacity, and is currently the Lands, Urban Renewal and Housing department executive.
Currently, he holds both Lands and Health dockets, the latter in an acting capacity following the suspension of Veska Kangogo, who was interestingly also holding the position in an acting capacity after the suspension of Hitan Majevdia in July this year.
So what makes Kerich such an invaluable human resource in Governor Sonko’s government?
Political analyst and University of Nairobi lecturer Professor Herman Manyora opines that Mr Kerich’s background as a journalist gives him an edge among other executives.
Prof Manyora also points out that Kerich could be the most loyal and trusted cabinet member that Governor Sonko has at his disposal.
“Either he is so competent that whenever there is need he is called upon to act or he could also be the most loyal and trusted among the county executives. Being a media person could also be a plus for him. He could be an expert in conflict and crisis management,” says Prof Manyora.
Nairobi County Assembly minority whip Peter Imwatok admits that indeed the Lands executive’s experience in the media industry gives Kerich an edge over his counterparts as he knows how to relate with Governor Sonko.
“He is a sharp guy and when you listen to him you get that impression. I believe Kerich also understands how Governor Sonko thinks since they used to work together when he was in the media. So he must know more about him than other executives. He might be the ‘Mr Fix It’ that we agree every government must have,” Imwatok said.
The ODM MCA, however, says the constant shifting of Mr Kerich from one department to the other is contravening the County Governments Act which says that every county member must be appointed according to his profession.
“He is not being used optimally where he is supposed to be. He applied for the ICT docket because that is where his profession lies not in Lands, Finance or Health. The problem is the governor who does not understand his (Kerich’s) profession,” he said.