Ukur Yatani: profile of the man chosen to replace Henry Rotich

His appointment comes as a surprise as he has no experience in Finance

President Uhuru Kenyatta with Marsabit Governor Ukur Yattani

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday announced Ukur Kanacho Yatani as the new acting Treasury CS to take over from Henry Rotich who stands suspended after he took plea in a corruption-related case.

President Kenyatta’s choice is likely to come as a surprise to economic observers who were expecting an interim CS with some experience in finance and fiscal management.

Yatani joined Cabinet in February 2018 as the CS for the low-profile ministry of Labour and Social Protection.

The 51-year old has little executive experience, save for a lackluster five-year term as Marsabit Governor where he served between 2013 and 2017 before losing his re-election to the incumbent - Mohamud Ali.

Yatani’s bulk of experience is in politics having been elected as North Horr MP between 2022 and 2007.

He lost his re-election but was appointed as an Ambassador to become Kenya’s permanent representative to the United Nations in Vienna.

Yatani also has administrative experience where he began his career immediately after graduating with an economics degree from Egerton University in 1991.

He started out as a cadet District Officer and rose through the ranks to become a District Officer at the time he quit the provincial administration to join politics.

The former Marsabit Governor will be joining Treasury to find a full desk as the Treasury is currently working to resolve a stalemate over the delayed passage of Division of Revenue Bill whose legality is being challenged by the Senate at the Supreme Court.

Yatani will also need to work to boost investor confidence after the slight shock that followed the arrest of Rotich and his PS Kamau Thugge.

The Kenya shilling is on a 20-month low (103-104) against the dollar while Kenya’s Eurobonds at the international markets have taken a hit in the last two days.

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