The much awaited new cabinet has finally been announced by President William Ruto. Speaking from State House, the President named the cabinet secretaries who will play a key role in actualising his hustler model. What follows now is approval by Parliament and official oath of office.
The new cabinet has some familiar faces including fifteen politicians comprising sitting parliamentarians and former governors. Heading the pack is Hon. Musalia Mudavadi, who has been appointed Prime Cabinet Secretary.
The cabinet also has a few fairly new faces in government, some of whom have served as parastatals and corporate heads. WoK takes a look at the new faces in President Ruto’s cabinet.
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Professor Njuguna Ndung’u
Professor Njuguna Ndung’u is a former Governor of the Central Bank of Kenya. His appointment as finance CS comes amid an ailing economy with rising inflation, a heavy debt burden and drought.
Ndung’u is an economics professor and was CBK Governor between 2007 and 2015. He won praise for presiding over the expansion of the financial sector and condemnation for prioritizing growth over price stability in 2011.
In 2012, he weathered a political storm as parliament tried to oust him over currency turmoil the previous year, when the shilling weakened sharply and inflation soared.
He however restored his reputation by containing inflation and gradually stabilizing the Kenyan shilling.
Prof. Ndung’u will serve tenure of the current central bank governor, Patrick Njoroge, is set to end in June next year.
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Rebecca Miano served as Managing Director and CEO of Kenya Electricity Generating Company PLC (KenGen), a position she has held since October 2017. She is the first ever woman appointed to head KenGen as CEO.
She has close to 30 years’ experience in the energy sector which earned her global recognition as a continental business leader.
She has previously served in various positions in different companies and entities including the Board of Global Compact Network, Kenya in November 2019, the World Bank Group’s Advisory Council on Gender and Development, among other notable accolades.
Soipan Tuya is currently a nominated Senator Soipan Tuya serving her third term in Parliament. She was first elected as Narok County Woman Representative in 2013 and retained her seat in 2017. She was born into a political family, with her father previously serving as Narok South MP and her mother as a Councilor in Narok County Council.
She has now been appointed by President Ruto as Environment and Forestry CS.
Penina Malonza has been appointed by President Ruto to serve as Tourism, Wildlife and Heritage CS. She has previously served as the Deputy Governor of Kitui County between 2013 and 2017. She was deputizing Kitui County’s first governor Julius Malombe.
In 2021, Malonza declared her ambitions to unseat the current Kitui County Woman Representative Irene Kasalu. Before joining politics, she served as the growth Country Director at Compassion, an NGO in Kenya that supports vulnerable pupils in Kitui County.
Eliud Owalo is a former campaign manager for Raila Odinga who ditched the Orange Party to join Musalia Mudavadi’s Amani National Congress (ANC) in 2019. The management consultant has been instrumental in helping President Ruto clinch the presidency by drumming up support in the vote-rich western region. He has also helped to strategize key campaigns of Kenya Kwanza during the campaigning season. Owalo is the Information, Communications And Digital Economy CS.
Ezekiel Machogu was the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) candidate for the Kisii County gubernatorial seat. He has previously served as Member of Parliament for Nyaribari Masaba Constituency in Kisii County.
He has been appointed as Minister of Education by President William Ruto, pending Parliament approval.
Dr. Susan Nakhumicha Wafula
The newly appointed Health CS Dr. Susan Nakhumicha Wafula holds a PhD in Business Management, Logistics & Supply Chain, has worked at Mission for Essential Drugs and Supplies and was since 2017 the Head of Supply Chain at UCSF Institute for Global Health Sciences .
Davis Chirchir, who has been described as a close ally of President William Ruto, has been appointed as Cabinet Secretary in Charge of Energy and Petroleum. Davis, who served in a similar position in former President Uhuru Kenyatta’s cabinet, was also named as President Ruto’s Chief of Staff, barely five days ago.
Mr. Chirchir’s name first came to the limelight in the 2013 election when he was fronted by Kenyatta as his Chief Agent, a position that he retained in the 2017 presidential election.
Lawyer Harriette Chiggai was first thrown into the limelight when seeking an IEBC commissioner job. She is also a former Vice President of the Law Society of Kenya. She has been previously affiliated with Musalia Mudavadi’s ANC Party. She is the Women Rights Agency Advisor under Cabinet level portfolio.
Mrs. Mercy Wanjau is currently the Acting Director General of the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA). She has now been appointed as Secretary to the Cabinet.
Prior to her appointment, she served as the Director of Legal Services at the Authority. She is a commercial lawyer, regulatory and governance expert. She is also a Certified Secretary and Professional Mediator and has previously consulted with KPMG South Africa, PriceWaterhouseCoopers Kenya and also had a stint in commercial legal practice.
She has also served on international secondment at the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the UN specialized agency for ICTs.