NAIROBI: President Uhuru Kenyatta applied the age-old political trick of reaching out to communities by picking their political sons and daughters to serve in various positions within parastatals, a strategy that would be reciprocated through the shoring of loyalty by the appointees.
In balancing the need to satiate the thirst for political capital and the need to restructure State corporations, the President spread out the political appointees to various strategic positions.
By the mere fact of sitting in the boards, the appointees will influence the recruitment of chief executives and other key staff and play key role in restructuring.
Apart from politicians forming the beeline to boardrooms, with most of them picked by Uhuru and Deputy President William Ruto in consultation with the relevant Cabinet Secretaries under whom the State corporations fall, two influential leaders also got a share of the pie.
That was former President Mwai Kibaki whose daughter featured, as well as the sister of Opposition leader Raila Odinga. Also not left out were seven former ministers, several former assistant ministers and the President’s and DP’s close associates and those who have rendered them professional service.
In staking the need to reap political capital from the appointments, the President and DP also reached out to political constituencies associated with the appointees through tribal appeasement.
In what could herald the age of rapprochement with former co-Deputy Prime Minister with Uhuru in the last regime, Mr Musalia Mudavadi’s Director of Communications Kibisu Kabatesi was not left out.
But even as politicians stood out in the list of 302 names the President, working through a tribunal, reduced the number of parastatals from over 300 to just 79.
The President also handed plum parastatal jobs to his lawyers, who successfully fought to have the case against him at the International Criminal Court dropped, in the appointments contained in a Special Issue of the Kenya Gazette.
Former Ministers in the list are Musikari Kombo, Musa Sirma, Henry Obwocha, Julius Sunkuli, Soita Shitanda, Samuel Poghisio, Marsden Madoka and John Koech.
Those from the cold, having lost parliamentary seats, are Omingo Magara, Robert Monda, Raphael Wanjala, Walter Nyambati, Joseph Lagat, Kalembe Ndile, Wavinya Ndeti, Abdul Bahari, Suleiman Kamolleh and Taib Ali Taib. Also among beneficiaries are Kenyatta’s lawyers Ken Ogeto and Gerishom Otachi.
Kombo will chair the Water Services Trust Fund, Sunkuli will serve in the ICDC board, Obwocha will chair the Kenya Privatisation Commission while Shitanda becomes the new chair of Agriculture Development Corporation where he will be joined by Sirma as a board member.
Magara is the new chairman of Kenyatta International Convention Centre, Dr Monda will chair the Board of Kenya Accreditation Services and Wanjala is a member of Nzoia Sugar Company board.
Lagat is new chairman of Lake Victoria North Water Services, Koech is chairperson of the Lake Victoria South Water Services Board, Kalembe is a board member of Water Services Regulatory Board, Ms Ndeti is a trustee of the Water Services Trust Fund, Nyambati is new Chairperson of the Board of the Jomo Kenyatta Foundation while Bahari becomes chairperson of the Tana and Athi Rivers Development.
Poghisio was retained as the chairman of the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority while Madoka was moved from Kenya Revenue Authority as chairman, replacing Mr Danson Mungatana. Judy became member of the Board of the Kenya Investment Authority, Dr Wenwa Odinga who is the immediate consulate-general of the Kenyan consulate in Los Angeles has been appointed to the Board of the Kenya Medical Research Institute, with lawyer Ogeto heading to the Anti-Money Laundering Advisory Board as chairman and also member of the board of Kenya Ports Authority.
Otachi, a lawyer, is the new chairman of Geothermal Development Company. Joash Wamang’oli is the new chairman of Nzoia sugar board, Kibaki’s former aide de camp Geoffrey King’angi, who tried his hands in politics and lost, will become chairman of National Cereals and Produce Board.
National Assembly Leader Aden Duale’s brother in-law and former DC Ali Korane becomes member of the Coast Development Authority Board. Another lawyer associated with Jubilee coalition, Mr Ambrose Weda, is the new Chairperson of the Board of Directors of South Nyanza Sugar Company while former mayor Josiah Magut (Eldoret) is the Chairperson of the Bomas of Kenya Board.
Taib is a member of the board of the Kenya Investment Authority and John Kitilit (former Nakuru mayor) becomes the chairperson of the Rift Valley Water Services Board. Former Head of Civil Service Richard Leakey, who also served as director of the Kenya Wildlife Service returned to KWS as chairperson, replacing former Finance Minister David Mwiraria. Ms Kavi Mwendwa was named to the board of Kenyatta International Conference Centre.
United Republican Party (URP) Secretary General Fred Muteti becomes Chairperson of Sports Kenya, while other URP official Leah Ntimama will serve as a member of Water Services Regulatory Board while George Ayugi alias Mbuta heads to Lake Victoria South Water Services Board as a member. Kabatesi was named member of the Board of the National Drought Management