Structure and Composition

 

 

Unlike in previous administrations, national executive authority is today not vested on just one person of the President; rather it is vested on an executive Cabinet with the President as the head of that Cabinet. Excerpt from Article 130 and 153:

130. (1) The national executive of the Republic comprises the President, the Deputy President and the rest of the Cabinet.

The Constitution, and in particular Article 147, has provided for a Deputy President who is more than a just a figurehead around the President, or one to serve at the whims or the pleasure of the President. Rather s/he is both an assistant as well as a deputy: in other words, an active participant in the exercise of top national executive authority. Chapter 9 -  The Executive, Part 2 -  The President and Deputy President:

147. (1) The Deputy President shall be the principal assistant of the President and shall deputise for the President in the execution of the President’s functions.

This is affirmed by the last two words of sub-article 147 (1), "President's functions", which clearly demonstrate that the position of Deputy President is fused to that of the President. This is again reinforced by sub-article (2) below which appears to suggest that the Deputy President cannot be assigned a role that is distinct from that being performed by the President, as the words, "....... and any other functions of the President......" imply:

(2) The Deputy President shall perform the functions conferred by this Constitution and any other functions of the President as the President may assign.

Furthermore, the minute the President steps out of the country (or is unable to perform the functions of the office), the Constitution ensures that the Deputy President automatically takes over the authority and functions of that office:

(3) Subject to Article 134, when the President is absent or is temporarily incapacitated, and during any other period that the President decides, the Deputy President shall act as the President.

On the 6th of October 2014, the particular words, "....... and during any other period that the President decides.......", of sub-article (3) above, were publicly invoked by the President when he transferred his authority to his Deputy for two days, shortly before traveling to attend the International Criminal Court ICC in the Netherlands, where he was facing criminal charges (as an individual and not in his capacity as President).

Other members of the Cabinet however, are assigned specific duties by the President. Chapter 9 - The Executive, Part 3 - The Cabinet:

153. (2) Cabinet Secretaries are accountable individually, and collectively, to the President for the exercise of their powers and the performance of their functions.

Reporting lines notwithstanding, personal responsibility on the part of every Cabinet member requires that they remain in total obedience to the Constitution at all times. 

153. (4) Cabinet Secretaries shall–– (a) act in accordance with this Constitution; .......

The number of Cabinet Secretaries (previously known as Ministers) will remain lean at between 14 and 22 under the New Constitution. Chapter Nine - The Executive, Part 3 - The Cabinet, Article 152, excerpts:

152. (1) The Cabinet consists of— (a) the President; (b) the Deputy  President; (c) the Attorney-General; and (d) not fewer than fourteen and not more than twenty-two Cabinet Secretaries.

The National Assembly must vet the President's choices of Cabinet Secretaries and who must be chosen from outside of both the Houses of Parliament. 15 out of 16 of them were sworn in on the 15th of May 2013, with 3 more being sworn in a few weeks later for a Cabinet total of 18 Secretaries:

(2) The President shall nominate and, with the approval of the National Assembly, appoint Cabinet Secretaries. 

In the past, Cabinet Ministers - they numbered 40 in the coalition government of 2008-2013 for example - and numerous Assistant Ministers, were appointed from the National Assembly, thereby blurring the line of separation of powers between the legislature and the executive. This will no longer be the case.

(3) A Cabinet Secretary shall not be a Member of Parliament.

Nonetheless, these Cabinet Secretaries are subject to the oversight role of Parliament. Chapter 8 - The Legislature, Part 5 - Parliament's General Procedures and Rules:

125. (1) Either House of Parliament, and any of its committees, has power to summon any person to appear before it for the purpose of giving evidence or providing information.

The composition of the Cabinet is made complete by Article 154 which provides for a Secretary to the Cabinet, also a Presidential nominee. Excerpts:

154. (1) There is established the office of Secretary to the Cabinet, which is an office in the public service.

While constituting his first Cabinet upon assumption of office, the 4th President of Kenya nominated the serving holder of this office to continue in office and, following his vetting and approval by the Departmental Committee on Administration and National Security and the whole House, appointed him to the Cabinet position:

(2) The Secretary to the Cabinet shall— (a) be nominated and, with the approval of the National Assembly, appointed by the President; ........

This office of Secretary to the Cabinet is the logical link in my view, between the National Government's policy-making role and that of the Provincial Administration (PA) in implementation of the same at the local administrative level. On the other hand, the top technical officer, and who will be privy to these Cabinet policies, will be known as a Principal Secretary in charge of a department of State (Ministry). Previously, these officers were known as Permanent Secretaries:

155. (1) There is established the office of Principal Secretary, which is an office in the public service.
(2) Each State department shall be under the administration of a Principal Secretary.

 

Table 1.1 Members of the 1st Cabinet after the General Elections of 2013 under the CoK2010 (April 2013 - November 2015).

 

 

Secretary

Gender

Principal Secretary^

Gender

Responsibility/State Department

1

Raychelle Omamo

Female

Monica Juma

Female

Defence

Mutea Iringo

Male 

2

Judy Wakhungu

Female

James Lopoyetum

Male

Water

Richard Lesiyampe

Male

Environment and Natural Resources

3

Charity Ngilu

Female

Mariam El Maawiy

Female 

Land, Housing, and Urban Development

4

Phyllis Kandie

Female

Mwanamaka Amani Mabruki

Female 

E. African Community

John Konchella

Male

Ibrahim Mohamed

Male

Commerce and Tourism

5

Ann Waiguru

Female

John Konchella

Male

Devolution*

Mwanamaka Amani Mabruki

Female

Peter Magiti

Male

Planning*

6

Amina Mohamed

Female

Karanja Kibicho

Male

Foreign Affairs

7

 

Najib Balala

Male

 

Richard Ekai

Male

Mining

Patrick Omutia

Male

8

Jacob Kaimenyi

Male

Belio Kipsang

Male 

Education

Colletta Suda

Female

Science and Technology

9

 

Hassan Wario Arero

Male

 

Patrick Omutia

Male

Sports, Culture and the Arts

 

Richard Ekai

Male 

 10

Adan Mohammed

Male

Wilson Songa

Male

Industrialization and Enterprise Development

11

 

James Macharia

Male

Fred Segor

Male

Health

Khadijah Kassachom

Female

12

Joseph Ole Lenku

Joseph Nkaissery1

Male

Mutea Iringo

Male

Interior*

Monica Juma

Female

Josephta Mukobe

Female

Coordination of National Government*

13

Davis Chirchir

Henry Rotich

Male

Joseph Njoroge

Male

Energy and Petroleum

14

Kambi Kazungu

Raychelle Omamo

Male

Ali Noor Ismail

Male

Labour, Social Security and Services

15

Fred Matiangi

Male

Joseph Tiampaty

Male

Information, Communication, and Technology

16

Michael Kamau

James Macharia

Male

Nduva Muli

Male

Transport Services

John Mosonik

Male

Infrastructure

17

Henry Rotich

Male

Kamau Thugge

Male

National Treasury

18

Felix Koskei

Adan Mohammed

Male

Sicily Kariuki

Female

Agriculture

Khadijah Kassachom

Female

Livestock

Fred Segor

Male

Japheth Micheni Ntiba

Male

Fisheries

19 Eugene Wamalwa& Male

James Lopoyetum

Male

Water Development and Irrigation&

20

Githu Muigai

Male

 

 

Attorney General

21

Francis Kimemia

Male

 

 

Secretary to the Cabinet**

 Total Ministries: 19, State Departments: 26

1 Joseph Nkaissery replaced Joseph Ole Lenku on the 24th of December 2014.

^An office in charge of a department under the Public Service. (Article 155. (2)).

*Under the Executive Office of the President and Deputy President.

**An office under the Public Service. (Article 154. (1)).

Click here for pictures of the team of Cabinet Secretaries as at April 2014. 

Nominees to the office of Principal Secretaries were sworn in on the 27 June 2013, after vetting by relevant Committees of the National Assembly

A reshuffle of some Principal Secretaries was done on the 14th of August 2014 as shown in the Table 1.1 above with the names of those reshuffled displayed in faint colour font

In late March 2015, four Cabinet Secretaries and four Principal Secretaries were suspended from office after being named by the President in his State of the Nation address to the Houses of Parliament to which he attached a report from the EACC that fingered the Secretaries as being under investigations for corruption. Their positions were taken up by their colleagues (albeit in an acting capacity) whose names appear in Table 1.1 above as shown in Italicised font.

&On the 9th of July 2015, Eugene Wamalwa was appointed Cabinet Secretary for the newly-created Ministry of "Water Development and Irrigation". The department of Water was previously together with those of Environment and Natural Resources under Cabinet Secretary Judy Wakhungu. Immediately following the appointment though, it remained unclear whether the department of Irrigation (under Agriculture) was in-fact transferred to him. 

In November 2015, the President again made changes to his cabinet composition, raising the number of Ministries to 21 and State Departments from 26 to 41, replacing suspended Secretaries with new ones with the approval of the National Assembly (subject to their vetting and endorsement by relevant Departmental Committees of the House over a two-day period), and at the same time dropping a few Principal Secretaries. He also shuffled some of them around. The fresh faces were sworn in on the 18th of December 2015 barely 24 hours later after their approval by the lawmakers. Table 1.2 below gives the new-look Cabinet:

 

Table 1.2 Members of the 1st Cabinet after the General Elections of 2013 under the CoK2010 (December 2015 -  )

 

 

Secretary
Gender
Principal Secretary
Gender
Responsibility/Department

1

Raychelle Omamo

Female

Peter Kaberia

Male

Defence

2

Judy Wakhungu

Female

Margaret Mwakima

Female

Natural Resources

Charles Sunkuli 

Male

Environment

3

Jacob Kaimenyi

Male

Mariam El Maawiy

Female

Lands

Aidah Munano

Female

Housing and Urban Development

4

Phyllis Kandie

Female

Betty Maina 

Female

East African Integration

Susan Mochache

Female

Social Security and Services

Khadijah Kassachom

Female

Labour

5

Mwangi Kiunjuri

Male

Mwanamaka Amani Mabruki

Female

Devolution

Josepheta Mukobe

Female

Special Programs

Saitoti Torome

Male

Planning & Statistics

6

Amina Mohamed

Female

Monica Juma

Female

Foreign Affairs

Nancy Karigithu

Female

Maritime Commerce

Chris Kiptoo

Male

International Trade

7

Daniel Kazungu

Male

Mohamed Ibrahim Mahmud

Male

Mining

8

Fred Matiangi

Male

Belio Kipsang

Male 

Basic Education

Dinah Cherotich Mwinzi

Female

Vocational & Technical Training

Colletta Suda

Female

University (Higher) Education

9

Hassan Wario Arero

Male

Joe Okudo

Male

Culture and the Arts

Richard Ekai

Male

Sports Development

 10

Adan Mohammed

Male

Julius Korir

Male

Industrialization and Enterprise Development

Ali Noor Ismail

Male

Cooperatives

11

Cleopa Mailu

Male

Nicholas Muraguri

Male

Health

12

Joseph Nkaissery

Male

Karanja Kibicho

Male

Interior

Micah Powon

Male

Correctional Services

13

Charles Keter

Male

Joseph Njoroge

Male

Energy

Andrew Kamau Ng'ang'a

Male

Petroleum

14

Sicily Kariuki

Female

Lillian Omolo

Female

Public Service and Youth

Zeinab W Hussein

Female

Gender Affairs

15

Najib Balala 

Male 

 Fatuma Hersi

Female 

Tourism

16

Joe Mucheru

Male

Victor Kyalo

Male

ICT and Innovation

Sammy Itemere

Male

Broadcasting and Telecommunications

17

James Macharia

Male

Wilson Irungu

Male

Transport Services

Paul Mwangi

Male

Public Works

John Mosonik

Male

Infrastructure

18

Henry Rotich

Male

Kamau Thugge

Male

National Treasury

19

Willy Bett

Male

Richard Lesiyampe

Male

Agriculture

Andrew Tuimur

Male

Livestock

Japheth Micheni Ntiba

Male

Fisheries

20

Eugene Wamalwa 

Male

Fred Sigor

Male

National Water Services

Patrick Nduati Mwangi 

 Male

Irrigation 

21

Githu Muigai

Male

 

 

Attorney General

22

 

Male

 

 

Secretary to the Cabinet

Total Ministries: 19, State Departments: 41

The President explained that the expanded list of State Departments was with a view to improve efficiency, accountability and accessibility of public officials and services

In times past, an all-powerful Presidency would use the carrot and stick strategy on Cabinet appointments to reward political support and consolidate executive power. Often times, those regions that did not give blind support to the President or to his political party would miss out on cabinet positions. Two of the nominees in Table 1.2 above, namely Daniel Kazungu - Member of the National Assembly for Malindi, and Senator Charles Keter of Kericho County, were elected in 2013 respectively under the opposition's Orange Democratic Movement and the ruling Jubilee Coalition's United Republican Party.

Going forward, Kenyans continue to expect that members of the Cabinet will under the Constitution, be nominated from all corners of the Republic beyond those regions that perhaps are strong supporters of the ruling party(ies) or coalitions or from among cronies of the ruling elite. Excerpts from Article 130:

130. (2) The composition of the national executive shall reflect the regional and ethnic diversity of the people of Kenya.

Similarly, the composition of the Cabinet must not offend the two-thirds gender rule. Chapter 4 - The Bill of Rights, Part 2 - Rights and Fundamental Freedoms:

27. (8) ....... the State shall take legislative and other measures to implement the principle that not more than two-thirds of the members of elective or appointive bodies shall be of the same gender.

With 14 out of 41 Principal Secretaries being women, the new Cabinet fulfills the rule at that level, even if just. However, at the Cabinet Secretaries level, there are just five women among their number, meaning that the constitution requirement was not fulfilled with the changes announced in November 2015. Unsurprisingly, this anomaly elicited swift warnings from various quarters among them the National Gender and Equality Commission NGEC, who also complained that the new lineup failed to include five percent of its membership with persons with disabilities (PWD).

Chapter 4 - The Bill of Rights, Part 3 - Specific Application of Rights:

54. (2) The State shall ensure the progressive implementation of the principle that at least five percent of the members of the public in elective and appointive bodies are persons with disabilities.

 

 

 

 

Find Us On FaceBook - Image

Follow me