President Uhuru Kenyatta has sent shivers down the spines of his government after he ordered all his Cabinet Ministers to proceed on mandatory leave from August 17.
The announcement made on Saturday, August 15 elicited sharp debates with word making rounds that Uhuru was paving the way to clean his cabinet as he fixes his mind on making a lasting legacy for himself when he leaves office in 2022.
Uhuru’s cabinet is made up of 22 Cabinet Ministers with only 21 in office with official duties.
These Cabinet Minister are:
Fred O. Matiang’I (Interior and Coordination of National Government), Eugene Wamalwa (Devolution), Amb. Ukur K. Yatani (National Treasury and Planning), Amb. (Dr.) Monica Juma (Defense), Najib Balala (Tourism & Wildlife) and James Macharia (Transport, Infrastructure, Housing, Urban Development & Public Works).
Raychelle Omamo (Foreign Affairs), Amina Mohamed (Sports, Culture & Heritage), Adan Mohamed (East African Community & Regional Development), Sicily Kariuki (Water & Sanitation and Irrigation), Charles Keter (Energy), Joe Mucheru (ICT, Youth & Innovation) and Simon K. Chelugui (Labour & Social Services).
John Munyes (Mining and Petroleum), Keriako Tobiko (Environment & Forestry), Farida Karoney (Lands & Physical Planning), Prof. George Magoha (Education) and Mutahi Kagwe (Health).
Betty Maina (Industrialization, Trade & Enterprise Development), Peter Munya (Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries & Cooperatives) and Margaret Kobia (Public Service & Gender).
The 22nd Cabinet Minister is Raphael Tuju who has no portfolio.
Tuju is a seasoned politician having been one of the few who stood their ground and went it alone against Nyanza’s kingpin Raila Odinga and got elected as MP for Rarieda. His footprints are still visible in the constituency many years after he left.
He is also the current Secretary-General for the ruling Jubilee Party where he has wielded enormous powers only second to the party leader, Uhuru Kenyatta.
His authority was seen when he deconstructed the deputy party leader who is also the deputy president William Ruto and made significant changes to the party leadership and structure despite a spirited fight from Ruto.
Tuju has fashioned himself as a most trusted soldier of President Uhuru by standing firm and advancing the Head of State’s ideologies and aspirations, a fete that earned him the cabinet position.
As the country waits to see if there will indeed be a change in the Cabinet Minister, Tuju looks likely to retain his position or even, earn a more powerful portfolio.
However, State House spokesperson Kanze Dena has downplayed reports of a looming reshuffle explaining that the move was not unusual as it is a practice in commonwealth countries for ministers to be given leave.