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Ruto on the spot over latest changes at Immigration

Religious and political leaders have called out the president and his Kenya Kwanza administration, noting that "there is a glaring tribalism and cronyism particularly with regard to public appointments".

President William Ruto during a media breifing at State House, Nairobi on May 3, 2023

President William Ruto has waded into another controversy following the appointment of Evelyn Cheluget as the Director General of Immigration Services at the Interior Ministry, replacing Alexander Muteshi.

The appointment which was communicated via an internal memo that leaked to the media caused uproar with a section of political and religious leaders calling the president and his administration for what they term as deliberate and insensitive ethnicization of government appointments.

Muteshi who was appointed to the role in 2020 by former President Uhuru Kenyatta will be proceeding on leave, with Cheluget’s appointment taking effect from Monday, May 15.

"Please accord the new Director General all the necessary support. I thank you all for the support you accorded me during my tenure as the Director," Muteshi stated in his farewell message.

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Political and religious leaders protest over government appointments

Narok Senator Ledama Ole Kina is among the leaders who condemned what appears to be a trend of senior government appointments going to Kenyans from particular communities and political cronies of the Kenya Kwanza administration,

"It’s official we no longer have a country called Kenya. It is called Ruto," Ole Kina wrote.

On his part, Thirdway Alliance Leader Ekuru Aukot labelled the appointment “a shame”

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"What a shame," Thirdway Alliance Leader Ekuru Aukot added.

A section of the clergy, including Bishops of the Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) who also noted that government appointments were biased and called on the President to reverse the trend.

“There is a glaring tribalism and cronyism particularly with regard to public appointments. There is an apparent lack of accountability and transparency in our institutions. This is not acceptable.

"Let all institutions and government agencies be impartial and efficient, and not simply beholden to political influence, but serve all Kenyans with impartiality,” read the statement by Bishops of the Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK).

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Progress made by Uhuru and Kenya Kwanza's controversial appointments

The previous Jubilee administration led by retired president Uhuru Kenyatta was praised for making deliberate efforts to ensure that public appointments reflect the true face of Kenya with its diversity.

The Kenya Kwanza administration has on the other hand been faulted for its appointments, with particular communities taking the lion’s share of all appointments and others left out.

First was the Cabinet appointments in which a number politicians who contested in the August elections including Moses Kuria, Kipchumba Murkomen, Alice Wahome landed appointments alongside others in what was seen as a rewarding cronies.

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The trend continued with the aPermanent Secretaries and Chief Administrative Secretaries.

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua is on record comparing Kenya to a company with shareholders who must be catered for first, a statement that caused uproar.

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