President Uhuru Kenyatta term in office is coming to end. He has been keen on leaving a lasting legacy and this can be seen by the number of ongoing projects across the country. The Head of State decided to work with opposition chief Raila Odinga to the chagrin of the deputy president William Ruto and his minders.
The president’s purge on DP Ruto’s allies and elbowing of his key men from his inner circle has been the subject of speculation in the country. So who are the men and a woman the Head of State is working with?
The ODM leader surprised his supporters and political detractors when he decided to work with President Uhuru Kenyatta. The two ‘handshake’ brothers have weathered the storm and are seemingly charting a political strategy that will see Raila ascend to the presidency. Uhuru consults the opposition chief on a number issues as State House director of political affairs Machel Waikenda told the Standard:
“In the president’s last term he has no friends or allies other than former PM, HE Raila Odinga. The president is a master tactician and has perfected the art of separating friends from politics…”
The standard newspaper described him as the ‘engine of the presidency’. The president was not about to let him go when he wanted to retire. The 69 year old Head of Public Service has unbridled access to the President who is said to admire his work ethic and honesty since their days in the Finance ministry. Kinyua is “a workaholic and incorruptible, and has remained frugal- not one to waste State resources. Even as his colleagues immersed themselves in flamboyance, he surrenders his government vehicles on Fridays and uses his private cars on weekends, including Pick-Ups, even though his home in Nyeri is nearer Nairobi”, an insider told a local publication of the man trusted by the Head of State.
Another trusted ally of the President. He is the secretary, legislative affairs and regulatory compliance who is said to have whittled the influence of Chief of Staff of Kenya’s State House and Head of Kenya’s Presidential Delivery Unit Nzioka Waita.
The CS without portfolio is a man who has no space for Uhuru’s critics within the Jubilee party. He has orchestrated the removal of party members from powerful positions and engineered the expulsion of ‘dissidents’ from the party. He is said to influence Cabinet posting.
She’s not a publicity hound but has a lot of influence in some of the decisions made by the President. Before Uhuru, former President Mwai Kibaki relied on her wise counsel. Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana had this to say about Nancy Gitau:
“She’s a master strategist. I would say she’s gifted in that space. Those who begrudge her prowess often come around to appreciate it, usually at a cost….”
Hate him or love him, Mutahi Ngunyi has always been on the winning team. He is said to have taken charge of the president’s political communication and it is yet to be seen if he will replicate his ‘tyranny of numbers’ messaging.