Kenya: Meet President Ruto’s new 22-member cabinet
Kenyan President William Ruto has unveiled a 22-member cabinet that he will entrust to deliver on his pre-election pledges. The list, a mix of ...
Kenyan President William Ruto has unveiled a 22-member cabinet that he will entrust to deliver on his pre-election pledges. The list, a mix of loyalist politicians and veteran bureaucrats depicts a decisive Ruto who has severed ties with his predecessor’s cabinet sparing only two but keeping just one in cabinet.
President Ruto has named Amani National Congress party leader Musalia Mudavadi to be his Prime Cabinet Secretary, in keeping with the Kenya Kwanza pre-election agreement. In the newly created position, Mudavadi will be the senior most minister, only after the President and his Deputy Rigathi Gachagua. “He will assist […] (us) in the coordination and supervision of government ministries and state departments,” said Ruto on 27 September. Mudavadi will also oversee the implementation of government legislative agenda in consultation with the ruling coalition’s parliamentary leadership.
Ruto’s cabinet has at least 16 politicians, some of whom lost in the recent general election while also picking four parliamentarians who had just begun their legislative terms.
The President has picked Kithure Kindiki who was first runner-up in his choice for running mate. Kindiki will lead the powerful docket of Interior and National Administration that is situated at the office of the president.
Fierce critics of former president Uhuru Kenyatta have reaped big after championing Ruto’s candidature in Mt. Kenya. Kenyatta’s former MP Moses Kuria has been nominated to the Trade, Investment and Industry docket, while Kandara MP Alice Wahome heads to the Water, sanitation and irrigation ministry. Wahome had just won her second term in parliament.
Political losers rewarded
Ruto has picked five individuals who lost elective seats on 9 August to his cabinet. Former Meru governorship candidate Mithika Linturi is destined for Agriculture and Livestock Development. Aisha Jumwa who lost Kilifi governor race is headed to the Public Service and gender docket.
Peninah Malonza a former Deputy Governor of Kitui who lost a parliamentary seat in the August elections has been nominated for Tourism ministry. Susan Wafula who lost the Trans Nzoia Woman Representative seat has been picked for health. Ezekiel Machogu who was UDA (party) candidate for Kisii governorship is set to become the new minister of Education. He previously served as MP and a longtime public servant.
Florence Bore a former Woman Representative for Kericho county is now headed to the Labour and Social protection ministry. Bore lost in the UDA party primaries in April.
President Ruto has returned Davis Chirchir to the cabinet (Energy docket). He first served under President Kenyatta (2013 – 2015) when he was sacked on account of corruption allegations. He was never prosecuted.
Until 2020, Garissa Town MP Aden Duale served as Kenyatta’s leader of Majority in parliament. He was dethroned just weeks after Kipchumba Murkomen had been serving in the same capacity at the Senate. Duale now heads to the powerful Defence ministry while Murkomen has been picked for the capital Intensive-Roads, Transport and Public Works ministry.
Former Narok MP Soipan Tuya who had just been nominated to the Senate is now headed to the environment and forestry ministry. Eliud Owalo an economist who switched from Mudavadi’s party (ANC) to Ruto’s UDA early 2022 is now headed to the ICT ministry.
Ruto has extended his claim on the coast region by picking the immediate former governor of Kwale Salim Mvurya to the mining, blue economy and maritime affairs ministry.
Former Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua returns to the national government, this time a cabinet secretary in charge of Foreign and Diaspora Affairs. He first served as the first government spokesperson under President Mwai Kibaki for nearly ten years.
Ruto has retained Simon Chelugui, currently of labour but redeployed him to a newly created Cooperatives and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises development. His will be a critical docket as Ruto hopes to implement his “Hustlers fund” promise.
Ababu Namwamba a former Chief Administrative Secretary at the foreign affairs ministry under Kenyatta will now be the CS for Youth, Sports and the arts.
Technocrats in cabinet
Former Central Bank of Kenya governor Njuguna Ndung’u (2007-2015) will be Ruto’s National Treasury and Planning Chief Administrative Secretary. The second and only other technocrat is Rebecca Miano who has been picked for the East African Community. Miano is the current managing director of the Kenya Electricity Generating Company (since 2017).
In making the announcements, Ruto also assigned his deputy Rigathi Gachagua substantive roles that will include chairing all cabinet committees. “[He] will coordinate intergovernmental relations between the national government and county governments,” Ruto said.
President Ruto has also nominated former National Assembly speaker Justin Muturi to be the new attorney general. He picked Communications Authority of Kenya Deputy Director general Mercy Wanjau to be his Secretary to the cabinet. Outgoing Energy cabinet secretary Monica Juma now drops off from the cabinet to be Ruto’s National Security advisor. Former Law Society of Kenya Vice Chair Harriet Chiggai has been picked as the president’s women rights agency advisor.
Cut from the list
As the president read out the new appointments, he also announced two key resignations. Inspector general of police Hillary Mutyambai, who stepped down on medical grounds. In his place Ruto has nominated former Nairobi Police Commander Japhet Koome to the powerful position.
Ruto’s investigative nemesis George Kinoti has also stepped down from the Director of Criminal Investigations slot. “[The national police service should] proceed to advertise that position and meanwhile, they should get somebody to act in the place of Mr. Kinoti,” Ruto told a press briefing on 27 September.
The National Assembly is expected to invite the public for views on the cabinet nominees before holding approval hearings to vet the suitability of the Ruto picks. The president can only formally appoint and swear in his cabinet once parliament approves the list.
- William Ruto – President
- Rigathi Gachagua – Deputy President
- Musalia Mudavadi – Prime Cabinet Secretary
- Kithure Kindiki – CS, Interior
- Prof. Njuguna Ndung’u – CS, National Treasury & Planning
- Alice Wahome – CS, Water, Sanitation & Irrigation
- Aden Duale – CS, Defence
- Rebecca Miano – CS, East African Community
- Alfred Mutua – CS, Foreign & Diaspora Affairs
- Aisha Jumwa – Cs, Public Service, Gender & Affirmative Action
- Moses Kuria – Cs, Trade, Investment & Industry
- Soipan Tuya – CS, Environment & Forestry
- Kipchumba Murkomen – CS, Roads, Transport & Public Works
- Penina Malonza – CS, Tourism, Wildlife & Heritage
- Zachariah Mwangi Njeru – CS, Lands, Housing & Urban Development
- Susan Wafula – CS, Health
- Mithika Linturi – CS, Agriculture & Livestock
- Eliud Owalo – CS, ICT & Digital Economy
- Ezekiel Machogu – CS, Education
- Davis Chirchir – CS, Energy & Petroleum
- Ababu Namwamba – CS, Youth Affairs, Sports & the Arts
- Simon Chelugui – CS, Cooperatives and MSME Development
- Salim Mvurya – CS, Mining, Blue Economy & Maritime Affairs
- Florence Bore – CS, Labour & Social Protection
- Justin Muturi – Attorney General
- Mercy Wanjau – Secretary to the Cabinet
- Monica Juma – National Security Advisor
- Harriet Chiggai – Women Rights Agency Advisor
- Japhet Koome – Inspector General
The Africa Report