After President Uhuru Kenyatta announced the cabinet secretaries yesterday, debate on whether it represented the face of Kenya started.
A good number of people are looking at the list as Kikuyu, Kalenjin, Kamba etc, while others look at it as representing Coast, Central, Nyanza etc.
The latter has the constitution as its reference point, as it states that appointments should reflect regional balance.
Controversial blogger Robert Alai, yesterday penned an article condemning the president for the tribal appointments. He is among the lot who are categorizing the nominees by their surnames. This is how he put it on one of his blogs yesterday.
- Fred Matiang’i (Information, Communication and Technology (ICT), – KISII
- Henry K. Rotich (The National Treasury) – KALENJIN
- James Wainaina Macharia (Health) – KIKUYU
- Amb Amina Mohamed (Foreign Affairs) – SOMALI
- Adan Mohammed (Industrialisation) SOMALI
- Ann Waiguru (Devolution and Planning) KIKUYU
- Davis Chirchir (Energy and Petroleum) KALENJIN
- Amb. Raychelle Omamo (Defence) LUO
- Eng. Michael Kamau (Transport and Infrastructure) KIKUYU
- Phyllis Chepkosgey (East African affairs, Commerce and Tourism) KALENJIN
- Prof. Jacob Kaimenyi (Education) KIKUYU
- Felix Kosgey (Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries) KALENJIN
- Prof. Judy Wakhungu (Environment Water and Natural Resources) LUHYA
- Dr. Hassan Wario (Sports, Culture and Arts) SOMALI
- Najib Balala (Mining) SWAHILI ARAB
- Charity Ngilu (Lands, Housing and Urban Development) KAMBA
- Ministry of Labour, Social Security and Services (Vacant)
- Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government (Vacant)
Kalenjin – 4
Kikuyu – 4
Somali – 2
Luo – 1
Somali – 1
Kisii – 1
Kamba – 1
Luhya – 1
Arab – 1
Those categorizing the nominees by region somehow achieve some form of balance.
This is the group backed by the constitution.
1. Henry Rotich (The National Treasury)
2. Philis Chepkosgey (East African affairs, Commerce and Tourism)
3. Felix Kosgey (Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries)
4. Davis Chirchir (Energy and Petroleum)
5. Najib Balala (Mining)
6. Charity Ngilu (Lands, Housing and Urban Development)
7. Hassan Wario (Sports, Culture and Arts)
8. Jacob Kaimenyi (Education)
9. Samuel Macharia (Health)
10. Ann Waiguru (Devolution and Planning)
11. Eng. Michael Kamau (Transport and Infrastructure)
12. Prof. Judy Wakhungu (Environment Water and Natural Resources)
13. Fred Matiang’i (Information, Communication and Technology (ICT)
14. Amb. Raychelle Omamo (Defence)
15. Amb Amina Mohamed (Foreign Affairs)
16. Adan Mohammed (Industrialisation)
Rift Valley – 4
Central – 3
Eastern – 3
Nyanza – 2
North Eastern – 2
Western – 1
Coast – 1
Going with regional balance, the president needs to fill the remaining two slots with people from Western and Coast.
The debate will surely go on and everyone will continue supporting his side of the divide. At the end of the day, parliament will decide whether the 16 men and women, plus the two remaining ones will go ahead to become Kenya’s first cabinet secretaries.