Details are now emerging on the manoeuvres before President Uhuru Kenyatta, in the absence of his deputy William Ruto on Friday, January 2, announced his first Cabinet nominees.
Taking advantage of the DP’s absence, the President and people close to him decided to retain some and name some new people, a lineup largely opposed by the former.
According to reports, the DP who has his eyes fixed on 2022, wanted to position his key allies in the Cabinet as he prepares for the upcoming presidential bid.
But on the other hand, Uhuru wants to fill the new Cabinet and other powerful positions with experienced men and women of integrity as he works on his legacy and development agenda.
And in there lies the problem.
The Star quotes multiple sources who said the President had at least three sets of close advisers who helped decide on the changes he made and announced on Friday.
The first team of technocrats, it is said, was led by Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua who scrutinised all CVs and shortlisted them. The team reportedly dropped many names because of integrity issues.
Kinyua then handed the list to the President who deliberated with a different team of advisers including NIS Director General Philip Kameru, Chief of General Staff Samson Mwathethe and Police IG Joseph Boinnet.
It is said President Kenyatta met the said group in State House on Friday mid-morning after flagging off textbook distribution but it remains unclear to what extent Uhuru discussed the Cabinet and other changes with this group.
After meeting security chiefs, the head of state met four other close advisers, National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi, Attorney General Githu Muigai, Interior CS Fred Matiang’i and Mr Kinyua.
“It was in this meeting that final decisions were made on who was to be retained and why,” an undisclosed source familiar with the events disclosed.
The team reportedly looked at political ramifications of some decisions the President was to make. They also made changes to the final statement Uhuru read live to the nation at about 3pm.
DP Ruto had been consulted about some changes during the Christmas week while he was out of the country but was reportedly uncomfortable with some people who made the final list.
When Ruto returned to the country on the morning of Friday, he did not go to State House with sources close to him saying he was unhappy with some choices although he later denied there was a rift between him and the President over nominations.