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UHURUTO TO APPOINT NEW MINISTERS

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PRESIDENT Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto are considering creating two new ministries. They want to split both Anne Waiguru’s Devolution and Planning Ministry and Joseph Ole Lenku’s Interior and Co-ordination ministry into two.

The intention is to elevate the Planning Department to a full ministry separate to Devolution. A new ministry will also be created to hive off some of the functions presently undertaken by the Interior and Coordination ministry.

Currently Lenku is responsible for co-coordinating government, all regular police formations, the immigration, prisons and refugees departments.

Waiguru has more than 20 departments under her including Special Programmes, Devolution, Planning, Public service, Gender, Youth and Uwezo fund.

“The President and the Deputy President have agreed in principal to create two new ministries and one of them will go to someone from western Kenya,” said a senior official at State House.

There are presently 18 ministries but the constitution allows 20. Meanwhile Uhuru and Ruto have resolved not to appoint new ambassadors en masse but to just replace them gradually as their terms of office expire.

According to State House sources, the two Jubilee principals decided on a new approach after the uproar over the recent sweeping appointments of heads of parastatals.

“The President and his deputy have resolved to appoint the ambassadors piecemeal. Only those whose term has expired will be replaced. This is to avoid a situation like what happened after the appointment of chairmen of parastatals. They want to avoid the acrimony from communities who think they should have been given such positions,” said a State House source yesterday.

There has been ongoing and intense lobbying for state jobs as Uhuru and his government continue to make changes within their administration. The President has already made 37 new parastatal board appointments and is expected to make another 150 in the coming two weeks.

Cabinet Secretaries and Principal Secretaries have lined up individuals who they want to see take up appointments in parastatals and Kenyan missions abroad. The President is expected to fill around 20 vacant ambassadorial positions in the coming weeks.

In June 2013, at least 20 ambassadors, High Commissioners and Heads of Consulates were asked to hand over to their deputies and return home by mid-July.

Vacant embassies include Washington, London, Dublin, Kampala, Geneva, Windhoek, Dar-es-salaam, Bangkok, New Delhi, Bujumbura, Harare, Juba, Lusaka, and Canberra. Vacant consulates include Los Angeles, Karachi, Belfast and Montreal.

Those lobbying for the jobs include politicians who supported Jubilee in the last elections but were not elected. Also lobbying are individuals who heavily funded the Jubilee campaigns.

“During the launch of TNA, Uhuru was clear that those who lost would be accommodated to ensure that they remain in the party. This is what we expect,” said one politician.

When launching TNA in May 2012, Uhuru said that the only way to keep the party cohesive was to find jobs for nominations losers. He said that the losers would not then try to undermine the party nominee as in previous elections.

“The party nomination rules will seek to circumvent this problem by ensuring that losers in the nomination process, having achieved a threshold of votes, would be incorporated at various levels of appointive positions in keeping with their qualifications, to ensure that no leader who is willing and capable of serving the people is left out,” he said.

This is seen as the justification of the recent appointment of politicians such as Danson Mungatana, Ferdinard Waititu, Agnes Ndetei and Jebii Kilimo to chair various parastatal boards.

Last week TNA chairman Johnson Sakaja said that it was not illegal for the president to appoint those who had failed to capture elective posts. “If you go for a job interview and fail, it does not mean that you cannot take up another job,” Sakaja said during KTN’s ‘Jeff Koinange Live’ show.

The Star

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