On Wednesday morning in his State of Nation address at State House, Mombasa, President Uhuru announced his latest cabinet reshuffle, which included the sacking of the country’s Minister of Agriculture Mwangi Kiunjuri.
In this most recent reshuffle, Uhuru demonstrated that he is clearly in the driver’s seat, posturing his allies for advancement in Jubilee, keeping bandwagoners contained and edging out his ” rival ” altogether.
It is reported Raila Odinga was aware of the looming reshuffle since he flew to the Mombasa on Thursday last week and held a meeting with President Uhuru Kenyatta on Saturday.
“Mzee left for Mombasa Friday, he is scheduled to meet the President for consultations,” said Mr Odinga’s aide who sought anonymity because the meeting was private.
Kiunjuri has been under fire before, particularly for his involvement in the maize scandal. This was after the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) paid out billions of shillings to unscrupulous persons at the expense of genuine farmers who had delivered their crop to its various depots in the North Rift and Western Kenya.
Several CSs including Adan Mohammed and Henry Rotich were also on the spot after institutions under their watch were implicated in corruption scandals.
However, the removal of Kiunjuri will cause turmoil in the Jubilee alliance following months of animosity between the President’s and DP William Ruto’s camps.
Of course, the timing of his sacking reveals the deep division between Uhuru and Ruto.
The reshuffle has seen a number of Cabinet Secretaries taking up different portfolios. The changes will see Trade and Industrialisation CS Peter Munya replace Kiunjuri in the Agriculture docket.
Former Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma swaps offices with Rachel Omamo, who until the reshuffle has been in charge of the Defence Ministry.
Mutahi Kagwe was appointed in charge of Health, Simon Chelugui as Cabinet Secretary Labour and former Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki moved to the Water Ministry.
It also saw Ukur Yatani fully assume as Treasury CS.
The president also reshuffled a number of Principal Secretaries (PS) and Chief Administrative Secretaries (CAS) .