President Uhuru Kenyatta has fired two Cabinet Secretaries in a reshuffle of his Cabinet.
During his State of the Nation Address in Mombasa Tuesday, the President dropped Mr Mwangi Kiunjuri as Agriculture Cabinet Secretary and replaced Mr Henry Rotich as the National Treasury boss.
While the President did not make any reference to the two in his speech, he moved Mr Peter Munya from the Trade docket to replace Mr Kiunjuri as he confirmed Mr Ukur Yattani as National Treasury boss.
The President moved CSs Raychelle Omamo from Defence to Foreign Affairs, Sicily Kariuki from Health to Water, Monica Juma from Foreign Affairs to Defence and Simon Chelugui from Water to Labour.
The Head of State also reassigned Joe Okudo as Sports Principal Secretary, Dr Chris Kipto (Principal Secretary for Environment and Forestry), Dr Kevit Desai (Principal Secretary for East African Community) and Dr Margaret Mwakima (Principal Secretary for Regional Development).
Others were Mrs Esther Koimett (Principal Secretary for Broadcasting and Telecommunications), Mr Peter Kaberia (Principal Secretary for Mining), Ms Safina Kwekwe (Principal Secretary for Tourism) and Prof Colletta Suda (Principal Secretary for Gender).
President Kenyatta also made new nominations to the Cabinet as follows:
Mutahi Kagwe – CS Health
Betty Maina – CS Industrialisation
John Weru – PS Trade
Dr Jwan Ouma – PS Vocational and Technical Training
Mary Kimunye – PS Public Service
Simon Nabukwesi – PS University Education and Research
Solomon Kitungu – PS Transport
Enoch Momanyi Onyango – PS Physical Planning
President Kenyatta also appointed new chief administrative secretaries (CASs):
Hussein Dado – Interior
Patrick ole Ntutu – Labour and Social Protection
Andrew Tuimur – Water
Abdul Bahari – Devolution and ASAL
Lawrence Karanja – Industrialisation, Trade and Enterprise Development
Peter Odoyo – Defence
Maureen Magoma Mbaka – ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs
Winnie Guchu – State Law Office
Wavinya Ndeti – Transport
Zachariah Kinuthia Mugure – Education
Mumina Bonaya — Education
Lina Jebii Kilimo – Agriculture
Anne Mukami Nyaga – Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives
Mercy Mwangangi – Health
Nadia Ahmed Abdallah – ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs
Mr Rotich’s exit comes as he faces corruption charges, where he and former Treasury Principal Secretary Kamau Thugge are accused of inflating the cost of constructing Arror and Kimwarer water dams.
The two officials were among more than 10 suspects who were charged on July 23, 2019 with multiple counts, including abuse of office, conspiracy to commit an economic crime, conferring a benefit and single sourcing for the insurance of the projects, and approving payment contrary to the law.
The court heard that they engaged in construction of Kimwarer multi-purpose dam without prior planning.
President Kenyatta reiterated his resolve to fight corruption and called on the Judiciary to help end the vice by delivering convictions.
“I seek the indulgence of the Judiciary. And I do so because no administration in the history of this country has prosecuted corruption cases the way I have. From ministers to governors, senior government officers to procurement officers, I have been on the front line,” he said.
“And since I respect the principle of separation of powers, I have no powers of convicting the accused. I have done my part. And I will continue to do so. Now the Judiciary should give us convictions as an indication that we are winning in this war.”
He urged courts to stop and reflect on their failure to convict the Akasha brothers for drug trafficking.
“I think it is a shame on our country that we prosecuted a case against drug traffickers and we could not get a conviction and, within a year of them being arraigned in the United States, they have been jailed for no less than 25 years,” he said.
“That is something that our Judiciary must come to terms with.”
For Mr Kiunjuri, the writing has been on the wall after he chose to openly engage in 2022 succession politics against Mr Kenyatta’s warning.
The vocal government official has been one of the strongest supporters of Deputy President William Ruto and his bid to succeed Mr Kenyatta when the Head of State completes his 10-year term in 2022.
The Deputy President did not accompany the President as he announced the changes at State House, Mombasa.
And, during his speech, Mr Kenyatta once again reminded his ministers and civil servants that it is time to work and deliver on Jubilee Party promises as he reiterated his warning against politicking.
“I want the economy to be a more important focus than politics. And this is because our practice throughout our history has been to pursue the political kingdom as opposed to the economic kingdom. But that focus has been wrong,” he said.
“It is the reason we still have remnants of poverty despite the years of progress we have made.”
Cabinet Secretaries who were not affected by the changes include Dr Fred Matiang’i (Interior and Coordination of National Government), Najib Balala (Tourism & Wildlife), James W. Macharia (Transport, Infrastructure, Housing, Urban Development and Public Works), Amina C. Mohamed (Sports, Culture & Heritage), Adan A. Mohamed (East African Community & Regional Development), Eugene Wamalwa (Devolution) and Charles Keter (Energy).
Others are Joe Mucheru (Information, Communication & Technology), Margaret Kobia (Public Service & Gender), John K. Munyes (Mining and Petroleum), Keriako Tobiko (Environment & Forestry), Farida C. Karoney (Lands & Physical Planning) and George Magoha (Education).