Uhuru rewards loyal supporters with plum jobs
In making the announcement of fresh appointments to his cabinet on Friday, President Uhuru Kenyatta rewarded some political figures who either sabotaged the opposition or steadfastly stood with him as he campaigned for a second term.
Key among those rewarded with plum jobs in government for their loyalty to the president are former Budalangi Member of Parliament Ababu Namwamba and former Meru governor Peter Munya.
1. Ababu Namwamba – In the run up to the August 8 general elections, Namwamba was a fierce critic of Kenyatta’s administration before falling out with the powers that be in ODM – where he was the Secretary General.
In his quest to retain his parliamentary seat, Ababu ditched ODM to run on a Labour Party of Kenya ticket. Having severed his relationship with the opposition, Ababu transformed himself overnight into a harsh critic of his erstwhile boss in ODM Raila Odinga and a staunch supporter of President Kenyatta.
The crashing defeat to Raphael Wanjala is the big price he paid. But now has been handsomely rewarded with the new presidential appointment as the Chief Administrative Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
2. Peter Munya – Many will remember him for his political somersaults in the wake of his defeat to Kiraitu Murungi in the Meru gubernatorial race. In a space of just one week, an unsmiling Munya briefly ‘joined’ Nasa in an elaborate media briefing at Capitol Hill before making an instant about turn and throwing his weight behind President Kenyatta.
With the repeat presidential election looming, following the Supreme Court’s nullification of the August 8 presidential election, Munya was a big catch for President Kenyatta. His appointment as the new Cabinet Secretary for East Africa Community will therefore not come as surprise to many.
3. Rachel Shebesh – The former Nairobi Women Representative will join the cabinet – if the name is approved by Parliament – as the Chief Administrative Secretary in the Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs Ministry.
Shebesh played a key role in the vote hunting exercise for President Kenyatta in Nairobi, thanks in part to her vast grassroots networks. Her unwavering support for the president stood the test of time even after she lost her parliamentary seat to Nasa’s Esther Passaris.
4. Raphael Tuju – In his capacity as the Jubilee Party Secretary General, Tuju is arguably the one person in President Kenyatta’s corner who worked hardest before, during and after the decisive elections of 2017 . Interestingly, the former member of Parliament for Rarieda constituency will only makes a return to government as a Cabinet Secretary without portfolio.
5. Nelson Marwa – After fighting hard to tame Mombasa governor Hassan Joho in the coast for the last four years, Marwa has been appointed PS in the Ministry of Devolution. Until his new appointment, Marwa served as the Mombasa County Commissioner.
6. Rashid Mohammed – He replaces the under performing Hassan Wario as the new Cabinet Secretary for Sports and Heritage in an appointment widely viewed as a reward for the former ODM Youth Coordinator. His defection to the Jubilee Party has ultimately reaped a bountiful harvest.