A week before President Uhuru Kenyatta announced his new CAS (Cabinet Administrative Secretary) nominee list, I penned an article on who should be make it to Cabinet. Well, I didn’t actually name anyone, but only went ahead to give parameters I expected would guide the President and his Deputy in selecting their team.
A week later, he eventually read to us the names of men and women who in his wisdom, would deliver on the Big 4 agenda that includes; Manufacturing, Food Security, Affordable Healthcare and Affordable Housing. And as expected, the list raised more questions than answers. One of them being the value proposition of introducing a Chief Administrative Secretary position to an already ballooning public wage bill. This is despite the fact that the President on numerous occasions has expressed concern with the huge public wage bill, and even went ahead to support the SRC move to slash salaries for various public servants. But the turnaround we now see with the nominations, begs the question; was it only a rhetoric? Was the President, by any chance pulling our legs?
As if the wage bill agenda is not concerning enough, the President used these new positions to award his political friends, many of whom were about to go into the political cold. So while Kenyans were busy waiting with bated breaths for a team that will inject the much needed hope for better and efficient service delivery, their fantasies were interrupted with names of their former Governors, Women Reps and MPs whom they had shown the door in the just concluded elections. Was this a mockery of sorts to the electorate?
Lastly, the President in very unequivocal terms, seemed to be telling the Kenyan youths that meritocracy is plainly hot air. By nominating certain people to certain dockets, Uhuru seems to be saying that relevant work experience is only as important as the paper goes. This is why we now have CS nominees such as Keriako Tobiko, Amina Mohamed, Farida Karoney, Sicily Kariuki, John Munyes among others, fumbling and mumbling before the Parliamentary Vetting committee about ministries and sectors they have zero previous experience in, yet we would get more value from their service, if only we had them nominated to their areas of expertise (for the competent ones) or not having them nominated at all.
There are many ways to build a lasting legacy, and maybe this is just one of them. What do I know?