MP, senators and former MP among those lined up to replace axed ministers

By: PETER LEFTIE

The nominee for the Energy Cabinet Secretary post is a seasoned politician and a close ally of Deputy President William Ruto.

Mr Keter joined Parliament following the 2002 General Election after former Finance assistant minister Charles Kirui lost in the Kanu nominations for the Belgut seat in Kericho County.

He fast established himself as Mr Ruto’s pointman in the South Rift and successfully defended his seat in 2007 on an ODM ticket.

Following the formation of the grand coalition government, Mr Keter was named energy assistant minister in what many believed was due to Mr Ruto’s influence.

He was later relieved of his ministerial duties alongside Mr Ruto after publicly disagreeing with ODM leader Raila Odinga over the Mau forest evictions and the cases at the ICC.

Mr Keter later teamed up with Mr Ruto to form URP ahead of the 2013 General Election. In 2013, Mr Keter contested the Kericho senatorial seat on an URP ticket under Jubilee, a post he has held ever since.

MWANGI KIUNJURI

Mr Kiunjuri was first elected as Laikipia East MP in 1997 on a DP ticket.

The Moi University graduate and former high school teacher established himself as one of then opposition leader Mwai Kibaki’s most vocal supporters in Parliament and successfully defended his seat in the 2002 General Election on a Narc ticket.

Come 2007, he again successfully defended his seat.

He served as an assistant minister in the ministries of energy and water resources where he is remembered for his bitter falling out with his boss, then Water minister Charity Ngilu amid corruption allegations.

In 2013, Mr Kiunjuri contested the Laikipia gubernatorial seat but lost to Mr Joshua Irungu.

Early this year, he was appointed to chair the Athi Water Services Board until Tuesday when he was nominated to the devolution docket.

In the run-up to the 2013 General Election, he resisted spirited attempts to dissolve the Grand National Union, a party he chaired and which was seen as posing challenge to President Kenyatta’s TNA.

CLEOPA KILONZO MAILU

Dr Mailu, the nominee for the health docket, is not new in the ministry having served in acting capacity as director, division of family health, from 1995 to 2000.

Between 1984 and 1995, he served in various capacities, including manager of casualty, at the Kenyatta National Hospital.

Dr Mailu has also worked with various international organisations such as WHO and Unicef before joining Nairobi Hospital as chief executive, a post he held until his nomination.

Born in Makueni County 59 years ago, Dr Mailu is the first African to become Nairobi Hospital’s chief executive, which had had European administrators for half a century.

The father of two holds a degree in medicine from the University of Nairobi and a master’s in medical genetics from the University of Glasgow, UK.

He is a former Federation of Kenya Employers chairman and joins a ministry that has been dogged by constant strikes by health workers and reports of malpractices and negligence leading to death of patients.

SICILY KARIUKI

The nominee for the newly created public service youth and gender affairs docket previously served as Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture.

She also served as the managing director/chief executive of Tea Board of Kenya for eight years.

Ms Kariuki is a graduate of the University of Nairobi and holds an MBA and postgraduate qualifications in food laws and regulations from Michigan State University.

She has also worked in the private sector within the horticulture and floriculture industry as the chief executive of Fresh Produce Exporters Association of Kenya. Prior to that, she worked for Kenya Investment Authority.

She now has the arduous task of handling the National Youth Service and the Youth Fund, which have now been placed under her ministry.

The two departments have been dogged by corruption claims, top among them the loss of Sh790 million in the youth service. The youth fund chief executive was also suspended for allegedly embezzling Sh181 million.

JOE MUCHERU

Mr Mucheru, who was nominated as ICT Cabinet Secretary, is a founder of Wananchi Online, and a past sub-Saharan Africa ambassador and country manager for Google.

The 49-year-old studied at London’s City University and holds a BSc in Economics and Computer Science.

He began his career as an analyst and administrator at the department of transport in London and then joined Google in June 2007.

He was involved in strategy, business planning and operations.

Before joining Google, he worked at Wananchi Online, a company he co-founded in 1999 where he held various roles. He has also served as chairman and director of Telecommunications Service Provider Association of Kenya.

The born-again Christian and father of two was born in Kamirithu in Limuru and attended Nairobi Primary School then went to Lenana School in Nairobi for his high school education.

DAN KAZUNGU

The appointee for the Mining docket and current MP for Malindi was poached by the Jubilee administration from ODM in a similar way Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaiserry was.

The lawmaker is said to be a close associate of Deputy President William Ruto and his nomination was meant to replace former Labour CS Kazungu Kambi, who was asked to step aside following corruption allegations.

The MP sits in the Parliamentary committee on energy, information and communication and is also a member of the House Select Committee on Regional Integration.

Before joining politics, he served as IBM regional manager. Mr Kazungu has lately identified himself with a group of rebel ODM MPs from Coast led by Kilifi South MP Gideon Munga’ro.

Three weeks ago, Mr Kazungu led the MPs in hosting Deputy President William Ruto at a fundraiser in aid of St Andrew’s ACK Barani Parish in his constituency where they pledged support for the government.

WILLY KIBET

Prior to his nomination to become the new Agriculture CS, Mr Bett was the Kenya Seed Company managing director.

Mr Bett, who hails from Uasin Gishu County, is a member of the Agricultural Development Corporation board.

As Kenya Seed Company CEO, he has been vocal in fighting unscrupulous businessmen selling fake seeds, especially in the North Rift and Western regions which produce the bulk of Kenya’s maize.

He has, however, been non-committal on the debate on whether Kenya should lift the ban on genetically modified food. “GMO is a complicated issue right now. There is a ban and I really wouldn’t like to speak about it conclusively but what I can say is that as an institution, we are GMO-free as we speak now. But behind-the-scenes, we are doing a lot and come the time GMO will be embraced in this country, we will be there to play that game, because it’s a technology, which as an institution we would like to use,” he stated.

SOURCE: DAILY NATION