President Uhuru Kenyatta's announcement of a major Cabinet reshuffle appeared to betray the much-publicized tensions with Deputy President William Ruto.
Winners & losers in Cabinet reshuffle confirm UhuRuto factions
Ruto's allies demoted
Although the two leaders have largely refused to acknowledge their political differences, the promotion and demotion of CSs and other senior government officials showed a pattern where pro-Kenyatta CSs were rewarded while as those allied to the Ruto camp were demoted.
Agriculture CS Mwangi Kiunjuri has been a thorn in Kenyatta's flesh as he has been accompanying pro-Ruto MPs in the Mt Kenya region, some of whom have attacked the President in his presence.
During the burial of Martha Gachagua, the mother to Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua, Kiunjuri is reported to have refused to address complaints raised regarding Agriculture-related matters - according to Kieni MP Kanini Kega, a close ally of Kenyatta.
Kiunjuri had last year organised a meeting with Mt Kenya MPs where they appeared to issue ultimatums against the BBI - which appears to President Kenyatta's pet project.
Peter Munya, who has served as Trade and Industrialization CS, will now take over from Kiunjuri .
Munya has been a close ally of President Kenyatta, something that has earned new responsibilities since joining the Cabinet as CS for the East African Community in 2018.
Being a former politician, Munya is not shy to take President Kenyatta's political enemies head -on.
He recently blasted Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichung'wa after the Ruto-allied MP appeared to criticize the government's handling of the plight of milk farmers.
“Ichung'wa is a rent seeker. Let him take his rent seeking missions to Kiunjuri. Inspirations from Sugoi will not improve dairy industry,” Munya said in a tweet which he later retracted.
Munya will not only be taking over Kiunjuri's office, he will be getting new powers after the State Department of Cooperatives was moved from the Industrialization Ministry to the Ministry of Agriculture.
Last year, the former Meru Governor came out to publicly challenge the Deputy President to record a statement against him and other CSs from Mt Kenya region who Ruto had claimed were plotting to kill him.
Among those who had fallen in Ruto's bad books included ICT's Joe Mucheru and Health CS Sicily Kariuki.
Mucheru, for his loyalty to President Kenyatta, has been promoted with the Youth Affairs Department being added to his ministry away from the less politically active Public Service CS Prof Margaret Kobia.
Kariuki was also retained in the Cabinet despite the challenges that have recently faced the health sector. She will be taking over as the CS in charge of the Ministry of Water and Sanitation.
The newly nominated Health CS, Mutahi Kagwe is a close political and family friend of President Kenyatta.
The former Nyeri Senator has also been a vocal supporter of the BBI and the handshake between President Kenyatta and ODM Leader Raila Odinga.
Kagwe, apart from having political experience as a former MP and Senator, is also equipped with technical knowledge of government operations having served as the ICT Minister during President Mwai Kibaki's regime.
He is married to Anne Mutahi - a daughter to former Cabinet Minister John Michuki who serves as President Kenyatta's SME Special Advisor.
Water CS Chelugui has also been relegated to the less lucrative Labour Ministry amid growing scandals touching on his Ministry's infrastructure projects - particularly in construction of dams.
Chelugui, on top pf his troubles, is a loyal ally of the Deputy President and has been inviting the DP to open projects at a time when other CSs have been withdrawing their staff from the DP's launch of government projects.
Kenyatta's appointments were not purely informed by the Ruto proxy wars as can be seen in the nomination of Betty Maina as Industrialization CS.
Maina, who previously served as environment PS, has technical knowledge in the Industrialization industry having served as CEO of the Kenya Association of Manufacturers.
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