President Uhuru Kenyatta is crafting a new cabinet with radical changes in government that will have some Cabinet secretaries fired as he struggles to beat and implement his Big 4 agenda.
After making major changes in both senate and national assembly leadership, the President is now shifting focus to his Cabinet in a major shake-up to tap the most experienced hands and loyalists to drive his plan.
The looming changes have sent shock waves in the Cabinet amidst reports that key allies of Deputy President William Ruto and those nursing 2022 political ambitions will be kicked out.
The DP’s loyalists have already paid a painful political price after Uhuru ruthlessly executed far-reaching changes in the Senate and National Assembly leadership. He kicked out Elgeyo Marakwet Senator from the position of a Majority Leader in the senate and handed the position to KANU’s Samuel Poghisio.
Those wary of the President’s plans say Uhuru is trying to assemble a team of experienced leaders who will work for him tirelessly as he stretches to retirement.
The team that will steer the president’s legacy will be short of politicians eyeing positions in in the 2022 general election to avoid divided attention and conflicting interests.
Senate Majority Chief Whip and Murang’a Senator Irungu Kang’ata, who is close confidant of the President, confirmed the Cabinet changes should be expected in less than a month.
The soft spoken senator revealed that President Kenyatta will kick out some cabinet secretaries and chief administrative secretaries to pave the way for a fresh and dedicated team to push his legacy agenda.
On Sunday, former minister Franklin Bett who served during the Grand Coalition government as well, said this is now time for Uhuru to reshuffle his Cabinet if he is to secure some legacy.
“The time is now. Otherwise, he will walk home without any legacy. If you ask me what legacy the President take home today, I will tell you ‘none’. Nothing tangible. Uhuru has come to the realisation that time is not on his side.” said Bett.
In an interview with NTV recently, the president hinted that he will drop leaders in his government who appear either non-committed in helping him achieve his agenda or are outright saboteurs.
“I have been pleading with people, please, let us focus on the [Big Four] agenda, the time for politics will come’… Well, I don’t have that much time to go…I can’t continue pleading,” Uhuru said during the interview.
The president said he wants to bring on board leaders who are committed to delivering his legacy and doing away with those who have let their 2022 ambitions cloud their work.
Nyeri Town MP Ngunjiri Wambugu also told local dailies that the President will adjust his Cabinet “where he deems it necessary” but Political analyst Edward Kisiangani said Uhuru will not achieve any legacy because he has squandered his time and his BBI push has divided Kenyans even further.
Politics will still come to play anyway, considering there are reports of the Cabinet expansion to house key opposition figures as part of the strategy to neutralize DP Ruto’s influence.
It is such competing interests that have delayed the unveiling of the government of national unity. Concerns have been raised that appointing opposition leaders with political ambitions would be counterproductive.
Political Analyst Herman Manyora said appointing leading political figures to the Cabinet will send signals that that is the person he would want to succeed him. The ‘appointee’ must be ready and willing to play a subordinate role.
A unity government will help one of the President’s agenda items – national unity but the push and shove over competing 2022 political interests will still hurt the president’s legacy.
Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka has already received blessings from his party to sign a cooperation agreement with Uhuru’s Jubilee Party while Opposition chief Raila Odinga’s ODM party has declined to join a post poll coalition.