As Foreign Affairs CS Amina Mohammed returns to her job at the helm of Foreign Affairs ministry, a section of senior officials in the Office of the President (OP) in collusion with mandarins in her ministry want her removed from the ministry altogether.
So intense is the lobbying to have her out of Foreign Affairs that State House Chief of Staff Joseph Kinyua suspended the appointment of 128 foreign service personnel last week who had been hired by the CS.
Amina’s woes within the ministry dates back to two years ago when MPs rejected the then Defense Principal Secretary Monica Juma from being appointed Secretary to the Cabinet, after which she was transferred to Foreign Affairs.
Monica Juma is conspirator and smooth operator. She is also wife to one of Jubilee regime’s mainstream propagandists, Prof Peter Gitau Kagwanja.
Staff at the ministry of foreign affairs accuse Juma of impunity, blatant ethnic favouritism and staging endless fight against the CS.
MPs who rejected her nomination to the position of Secretary to the cabinet described her as an ‘arrogant and insensitive’ person.
At Foreign Affairs, she runs a parallel system to Amina, who is often reduced to cheer-leading when critical decisions are made. In the most recent spat involving deployment of foreign service personnel by CS Amina, Juma is said to have put pressure on Kinyua to revoke the decision.
This is not the first time Amina is countermanded by Juma using the weight of Office of the President.
In July last year, for instance, Juma unilaterally reinstated Ambassador Anthony Muchiri who had been suspended alongside then Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetang’ula in the infamous Tokyo Embassy scam in 2011.
Catherine Mwangi, a first cousin to Uhuru and sister to Senator Beth Mugo was also posted to Ethiopia without parliamentary vetting.
Juma named Muchiri as a senior officer in charge of staffing and human resource rationalisation in her office, creating two centres of power in the ministry. This is because there exists a directorate of Human Resource Management and Development in the same ministry.
Muchiri was then tasked to lead a quiet taskforce to audit all employments Amina had undertaken in the ministry since she was appointed in 2013.
“Amina was not even aware of the task force. But Juma vowed to discuss the report directly with the President to outline mistakes allegedly committed by Amina,” our source said.
Muchiri has since been posted as the Ambassador to Cuba without any Parliamentary vetting, becoming the first Kenyan envoy in the Caribbean nation.
Juma’s strategy together with her Jubilee power barons has been to elbow Amina out so as to take over her job.
The expectation of Amina’s exit had seen Kenya’s Ambassador to the United Nations return to Nairobi in anticipation of taking over from Juma as she gets appointed CS to replace Amina.
The frustration Amina has faced runing the ministry does not end with her. Key officers seen to be closer to her are often targetted for intimidation.
Many of the officers had hoped to move with her to Africa Union.
Director of Multilateral Ali Mohamed, considered a key ally of the Cabinet Secretary, was last year barred by the PS from travelling to the US for the United Nations General Assembly.
His absence left the over 200-member Kenyan delegation that included Deputy President William Ruto and tens of MPs thoroughly uncoordinated.
“It has never happened since independence. The Director of Multilateral’s core mandate is to coordinate such teams outside the country,” a source familiar with the intrigues revealed.
For instance, as she approved the list of Kenyan officials to UNGA, Juma deleted the name of Ambassador Mike Oyugi in Vienna but approved that of his deputy James Kihurani.
Last week, some 12 secretaries in the ministry, some about to retire, were transferred under unclear
circumstances amid allegations of tribalism in the process.