And as happens in any new administration, the powerful players behind the scenes are often men and women essentially unknown to the larger public. These are political players who have, over the years, worked closely with the principals earning their trust, confidence and in the process gaining unlimited access to the centre of power. Power, they say, does not flow along the lines of an organisationâ€™s organograms; power is fluid and often asymmetrical.
Access is power, those who have unlimited access to leaders often tend to have more power and influence on decision-making processes than elected leaders holding seemingly powerful positions.
As political historian Hedrick Smith writes in his book, The Power Game â€“ How Washington Worksâ€™ access to a president means involvement in major decisions and actions of the State. Smith writes the most vital ingredients of power are often intangible. Information is power. Visibility around the president or his deputy is power and so is access to the inner sanctums of government.
In this special report, The Standard On Sunday gives you a guide on the people who will wield enormous influence in the Uhuru-Ruto administration
Besides being younger brother to President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta, Muhoho and Uhuru enjoy a close friendship. Muhoho is media-shy and studiously avoids the limelight. He is more comfortable in corporate boardrooms where he holds directorship in many blue chip companies.
Nevertheless, those close to Uhuru say that the President-elect frequently consults Muhoho before making major decisions. By virtue of being brother to President-electâ€™s mother, naturally Muhoho will have unlimited access to Uhuru, and thus be in a vantage position to wield massive influence in Uhuru-Ruto administration. Having shown absolutely no interest in a political position, Muhoho will be in a good place to be an independent and reliable voice to Uhuru without any perception of appearing like a future competitor. There are members of the Uhuru family who are also likely to wield significant influence should Uhuru-Ruto team prevail in the petition against their election.
These include cousin Beth Mugo, uncle George Muhoho, and mother Mama Ngina Kenyatta among a couple of others.
David W G Murathe:
He is a former MP for Gatanga, who has worked closely with Uhuru since the president-electâ€™s entry into politics in mid-1990s. Over the years, Muratheâ€™s relationship with Uhuru has grown from that of two political allies to a firm friendship.
He is a former Personal Assistant to President Kibaki and also a former schoolmate of Uhuru both at St Marys School and Amherst College, USA. His experience in operations of the State having worked in the inner sanctums of State House in the early years of Kibaki presidency will come in handy in an Uhuru-Ruto administration. He played a significant role during the Uhuru-Ruto campaigns often serving as liaison between the campaign and the outside world.
Justin Bedan Njoka Muturi:
Or JB, as he is popularly known, is a lawyer, a former magistrate, and a former Member of Parliament for Siakago. During his years in Parliament, Muturi established good rapport with Uhuru and ever since they have been close allies. After losing his parliamentary in 2002, Muturi retreated from active politics but remained in the limelight by virtue of being chairman of Centre for Multiparty Democracy, a pro-democracy NGO.
This suave son of former Cabinet minister Maina Wanjigi is one of the best-networked businessmen in town today. He is a former schoolmate of Uhuruâ€™s at St Marys School. Jimi is media-shy and prefers operating from behind the scenes. He was a staunch supporter of Prof George Saitoti and would have done everything in his power to help propel Saitoti to the presidency had fate not come in between. When Saitoti died last year, Jimi was left without a presidential candidate to support. He briefly toyed with the idea of backing Raila Odinga, but for some reason, this did not go far.
Although not an original supporter of Uhuru Kenyatta, Jimi started working closely with William Ruto and soon enough he, Jimi, was a most integral part of Uhuru-Ruto presidential bid. Jimi is credited with having single-handedly crafted the deal that saw Ruto opt to support Uhuru instead of going back to Raila camp, as had appeared at some point months before the March 4 elections. The very act of delivering Ruto to Uhuru was worth its weight in gold, in political terms. Having Ruto stick with Uhuru rather than go back to Raila was the game-changer in the last elections. Being the man responsible for this, Jimi will definitely have a lot of clout and influence in a Uhuru-Ruto administration.
Charles Cheruiyot Keter:
He is a former MP for Belgut who won the Kericho senatorial seat in the just-ended General Election. He is one of the closest allies to Deputy President-elect William Ruto who consults him on almost all political issues. Keter not only enjoys Rutoâ€™s undivided confidence, but he also happens to be closely allied to another most significant player around Ruto, city businessman Jimi Wanjigi.
Keter is destined to be one of the most influential players in a Uhuru-Ruto administration. Indeed, there has been talk that Keter, who is also a former assistant minister for Energy, may at some point resign his senatorial position for appointment to the cabinet as Energy Secretary.
He is Uhuruâ€™s nephew and has also been his long-serving personal assistant. Jomo is son to Uhuruâ€™s sister Jeni and Udi Gecaga. By virtue of being family member and a PA, Jomo will enjoy more proximity to the centre of power than possibly most other people in a Uhuru-Ruto administration. Being at the centre provides one with the ability to be in the loop on major decisions and also influence decisions one way or the other.
He is a lawyer and one of the people who have stuck by Uhuruâ€™s side for the longest time through thick and thin. He is a strong defender of Uhuru and is also fiercely loyal to the president-elect. He has been mentioned as a likely Comptroller of State House in a, Uhuru administration. Such an appointment and his personal rapport with Uhuru would make Njee Muturi another very vital player in State House controlling access to the inner sanctums of power.
Aden Bare Duale:
He is a former MP for Dujis who got re-elected to the National Assembly in the just-ended General Election. He has been at Rutoâ€™s side in recent years always ready to defend Ruto whenever the deputy-president elect was under political attack. It was perhaps because of the relationship theyâ€™ve built over the years that Ruto had Duale take a key post his party, URP.
He is a former commissioner of the defunct Interim Independent Electoral Commission, and also secretary general of Rutoâ€™s party, URP.
From this vantage position, Chirchir has been established himself as a key player around Ruto. During the campaigns, Ruto relied on Chirchir a great deal on logistical issues. In a Uhuru-Ruto administration, Chirchir is likely to continue being a man of influence around the centre of power.
Onesmus Kipchumba Murkomen:
He is the newly elected senator who beat Nicholas Biwott in the game. Although a political newcomer, Murkomen, a former law lecturer at Moi University, has within a short time got close to Ruto and is today one of the people deputy president-elect turns to when he wants legal advice on political matters.