President Uhuru Kenyatta has taken 54 days—40 more than in his first term in 2013—to name his full Cabinet, a delay that threatens key government services.
This is coupled with the fact that in naming his nine-man partial Cabinet on January 5, President Kenyatta kept in limbo 13 of their colleagues, who are now unsure whether or not they will keep their jobs.
For the 13, it is hope against hope that, in the end, they will be retained, and, on the other hand, a reluctant preparation to exit the scene, a scenario that has affected their work in the past 17 days.
“They are very careful when it comes to committing the government in some expenditures. They are afraid to append their signatures on contracts they are not sure about because they do not know their fate,” a source at one of the government departments told the Nation yesterday.
The fact that the Principal Secretaries, the accounting officers in the ministries, are also not sure about their fate has also heightened this uncertainty especially after reports emerged that a huge chunk of them may not survive the chop as the President starts reorganising his government for his final term in office.
In 2013, President Kenyatta named his Cabinet on his 14th day in office.
Though he is not bound by any law to name the Cabinet within any scheduled time, his move on January 5 to retain only six of the 19—without saying what happens to the rest—has thrown the top government officials into panic and uncertainty.
Despite State House asking the 13 CSs to report to their offices as usual, most of them have opted to stay away for fear of a possible chop.
Others, to the detriment of service delivery, have opted to work behind the scenes, fronting delegations to President Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto to be retained in the Cabinet.
When he travelled to South Africa, Kanu secretary general Nick Salat— said to be eyeing a seat in the Cabinet—was among leaders at the airport to see him off.
On January 5, President Kenyatta was categorical that he had only retained six CSs, suggesting that he could have fired the remaining 13.
National Assembly Majority leader Aden Duale had last week hinted that the Head of State would name the Cabinet this week.
“The President will name the full Cabinet next week (this week) upon which all names will be presented to Parliament for vetting,” Mr Duale had told the Nation.