5 Powerful Figures Who Will Exit With Uhuru

  • Cabinet Secretaries entertain President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House, Nairobi on Wednesday, June 1, 2022
    Cabinet Secretaries entertain President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House, Nairobi on Wednesday, June 1, 2022
    PSCU
  • President Uhuru Kenyatta reiterated that he will retire after the August 9 polls to usher in a new government. 

    To ease the transition, he named a committee tasked with handing over power to his successor.

    As he prepares to exit, so are his lieutenants, his trusted confidants. Uhuru has openly showered praise on these public servants who he stated were crucial in securing his legacy.

    President Uhuru Kenyatta chairs a Cabinet meeting on Thursday, May 12, 2022.
    President Uhuru Kenyatta chairs a Cabinet meeting on Thursday, May 12, 2022.
    PSCU

    Fred Matiang'i

    Interior CS Fred Matiang'i is one of the most vocal crusaders of Uhuru's legacy. Matiang'i has never shied away from facing off with the President's critics. 

    He has been Uhuru's punching bag, shielding him from attacks while enforcing law and order. The CS has always been Uhuru's 'Mr Fix It', moved from one docket to another to streamline services. 

    Matiang'i rose to prominence in Uhuru's first term after being appointed CS for Information Communication and Technology in April 2013. 

    In this capacity, he rolled out the e-Citizen services and other robust changes such as spearheading the 2015 digital media migration. 

    He was labelled a no-nonsense CS, owing to his unwavering stances and loyalty to public service and integrity. 

    Uhuru then promoted him to the Education docket to clean up exam leakages and malpractices. The CS worked hand in hand with then Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) chair, George Magoha (now Education CS) to seal loopholes. 

    In 2016, the country recorded a sharp drop in A (Plain) grades that stood at only 141, unlike previous years when thousands of candidates achieved that milestone. 

    He was then transferred to the Ministry of Interior which was plagued with corruption, increased suicide cases and a high level of insecurity.

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    President Uhuru Kenyatta (right) and Interior CS Fred Matiang'i (right) during the 57th Administration Police Service pass-out parade on November 29, 2021
    Twitter
    Fred Matiang'i

    Matiang'i introduced new measures to streamline the docket, including reshuffling top officers, changing the police uniform, unveiling a guidance and counselling program and revamping the police sector with the provision of new weapons and training. 

    After Uhuru fell out with his deputy, William Ruto, Uhuru appointed Matiang'i to coordinate the Cabinet and oversee government projects. 

    "The reason why you have seen accelerated work happening in the last four years coordinated by the National Development Implementation and Communication Cabinet Committee (NDICCC). NDICCC is that all of us as Cabinet Ministers sitting in an interagency setup cut down bureaucratic systems. 

    “When the President created the NDICCC, he said the greatest challenge to development is bureaucracy. That is the job I have been doing for the last four and a half years and I have enjoyed doing it,” the CS stated while refuting reports that he took over the DP's roles. 

    James Macharia

    Macharia is perceived as the richest member of President Kenyatta's Cabinet. He started his career in the cabinet in 2013 when he took over as Health CS.

    Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia (second left) and Interior CS Fred Matiang'i (third from left) address the press in Mombasa.
    Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia (second left) and Interior CS Fred Matiang'i (third from left) address the press in Mombasa in June 2022
    File

    In 2015, Macharia was moved to the Transport Ministry after Uhuru fired Engineer Michael Kamau. Under Macharia's watch, Kenya has witnessed infrastructure development with the recently concluded Nairobi Expressway.

    Kenya also secured the full support of her partners in the Ksh2.5 trillion Lamu Port-South Sudan-​Ethiopia Transport Corridor Project (LAPSSET).

    Najib Balala

    Balala is one of the longest-serving CSs in President Uhuru Kenyatta's administration. 

    Balala was appointed to head the Tourism docket in 2015, a position he holds to date. He had also served in the same capacity between 2008-2012 under the late President Mwai Kibaki. 

    Former Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala during a visit to Maasai Mara on February 19, 2021
    Former Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala during a visit to Maasai Mara on February 19, 2021
    Najib Balala twitter

    However, prior to Uhuru transferring him to the Tourism docket, he served as the CS for Mining between 2013 and 2015.

    In this capacity, he engineered the penning of the Draft Mining Bill in 2014, the first policy and institutional framework review of Kenya’s mining sector since 1940.

    With Balala at the helm of the Tourism docket, the Ministry regained its track and its revenue in the year 2021 went up by 34.76 per cent to Ksh.146 billion compared to Ksh.88 billion that was netted same period in the year 2020, after the onset of the pandemic. 

    Farida Karoney

    Farida Karoney is the CS for Lands, a position she was appointed to in January 2018. Under her watch, Kenya developed the National Titling program which has seen over six million Kenyans receive title deeds.

    She also oversaw the launch of the National Land Information Management System (NLIMS) dubbed Ardhi Sasa as part of Kenya's digital transformation plan

    Karonei is a communications specialist with over 20 years of extensive experience in the strategic management of news operations and development communication.

    Lands-CS-Farida-Karoney
    Lands CS Farida Karoney

    She once served as Chief Operating Officer at Royal Media Services having been the Group Editorial Director since 2009.

    Karoney was also the Head of Editorial at KTN (Standard Media Group) in 2007 before serving as the Assistant Director for Broadcasting in the same media house.

    Joseph Kinyua

    Joseph Kinyua is the Head of Public Service since 2013.

    Kinyua's career began in 1978 as an assistant lecturer at the University of Nairobi. He then joined the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) in 1980 as an economist before rising to the rank of director of research.

    Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua
    Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua

    Between 1985 and 1990, he worked as an economist with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) before rejoining the CBK. 

    Kinyua later served as the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance from 2002 until January 2003 when he was transferred to the Ministry of Planning and National Development in the same capacity. 

    He has served on several boards of State Corporations and is a member of the Programme Committee of the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC) and Alternate Governor, World Bank Board of Governors.

    President Uhuru Kenyatta chairs a Cabinet meeting on Thursday, May 12, 2022.
    President Uhuru Kenyatta chairs a Cabinet meeting on Thursday, May 12, 2022.
    PSCU
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