The die is cast for over 20 state officers after resigning to join 2022 poll contest

February 11, 2022 - 5 Minutes Read - By Abigael Ndanu

The biggest surprise in the Cabinet resignations earlier in the week is perhaps the low number of Cabinet Secretaries that resigned. It had earlier been rumoured that more than half of Cabinet Secretaries would resign with a majority being allied to DP William Ruto’s United Democratic Alliance (UDA). However, this was not the case. Only four Cabinet Secretaries resigned out of which only one was affiliated to UDA and the rest being in Raila’s Azimio la Umoja putting to test rumours that there were “secret supporters” of the DP within the Cabinet’s leadership.

Out of the 20 Cabinet resignations in total reported by the 10th February, Azimio bagged 11 while UDA got six and OKA one.

1Charles KeterDevolutionGov. KerichoX  
2Adan MohamedEACGov. Mandera X 
3John MunyesMiningGov. Turkana X 
4Sicily KariukiWaterGov. Nyandarua X 
5Zach KinuthiaSportsMP, Kigumo X 
6Chris ObureTransportGov. Kisii X 
7Patrick Ole NtutuLabourGov. NarokX  
8Joseph BoinnetTourismGov. Elgeyo MarakwetX  
9Ken OburaEACGov. Kisumu City X 
10Wavinya NdetiTransportGov. Machakos  X
11Mumina Bonaya (Undecided)EducationWomen Rep. Isiolo   
12Hussein DadoInternal SecurityGov. Tana River X 
13Gideon Mung’aroDevolutionGov. Kilifi X 
14Eng. John MosonikMiningGov. BometX  
15Lawrence Karanja (Undecided)TradeSen. Nakuru   
16Hassan Noor HassanEducationGov. Mandera X 
17Simon KachapinSportsGov. West PokotX  
18Joseph IrunguWater  X 
19Hamadi BogaAgricultureGov. Kwale X 
20Fred SegorWildlifeGov. BaringoX  

At sub-national level, the following were the reported resignations:

1Dr. Ancent KitukuMachakos County Minister for Health and Emergency ServicesMP, Kangundo
2Lazarus KivuvaMinister for Trade, Industrialization and Innovation in Machakos CountyMP, Yatta
3Jackson MuthiniChief Officer, Water, Irrigation, Environment and Natural Resources in Machakos countyMP, Masinga
4Mwengi MutuseChief of Staff, Machakos CountyMP, Kibwezi West

It is noteworthy that vide Article 99(2)(d) of the Constitution of Kenya as read together with Section 43(5) and (6) of the Elections Act, Members of County Assembly who wish to contest as Members of Parliament needed not resign by the 09th of February but rather before submitting their nomination papers to the Returning Officers. However, the matter is subject to litigation before the Court of Appeal in the matter Constitution and Human Rights Petition No. 210 of 2020 Hon. Clement Kungu Waibara vs. Hon. Ann Wanjiku Kibe & IEBC. The same will be determined on 18th March 2022.

Other notable public servants that have resigned include:

  1. President Uhuru’s Chief of Staff Nzioka Waita resigned to focus on the Machakos Gubernatorial race. His party of choice was not indicated but he will most likely side with the Azimio Coalition.
  2. President Uhuru Kenyatta’s aide Machel Waikenda has also resigned from his role as the Director of Political Affairs and Intergovernmental Affairs to contest for the Kiambu Senatorial seat.
  3. Director of Youth and Development in the Office of the President Walter Mong’are, popularly known as Nyambane, has resigned to run for an undisclosed political seat.
  4. Agriculture and Food Authority(AFA) boss Kello Harsama quit from his post to vie for the Marsabit Gubernatorial seat.
  5. Rift Valley Regional Commissioner George Natembeya resigned to focus on his Trans Nzoia gubernatorial bid on the Democratic Alliance Party (DAP) ticket.
  6. Chuka University Vice-Chancellor Prof. Erastus Njoka resigned to join politics. He is set to contest for the Tharaka-Nithi Gubernatorial seat.
  7. National Museums of Kenya Board of Directors Chairman David Musila stepped down, and is set for the Kitui Gubernatorial seat contest.
  8. Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) Vice Chair Dalmas Otieno quit to launch his bid for Migori Governor’s seat.
  9. Kenyan High Commissioner to Uganda Kiema Kilonzo, resigned to contest the Kitui Gubernatorial seat.
  10. Chairman of the Universities Fund Board (formerly the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission CEO) Halakhe Waqo resigned to contest the Isiolo Governor’s seat
  11. National Museums of Kenya Board of Directors Chairman David Musila stepped down to vie for the Kitui Gubernatorial seat.

Media personalities that have resigned thus far include: Felix Odiwuor, popularly known as Jalang’o, who quit his Kiss FM morning show to contest the Lang’ata parliamentary seat under the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party; and KBC Zinga Show host Bonnie Musambi resigned and is set to vie for the Kitui Central parliamentary seat in Kitui County.

What next for vacated positions

The “orphaned” ministries, from earlier precedents, it can be expected that the President will appoint acting CSs’ and PSs’ in the respective ministries from a number of the Cabinet Secretaries and Principal Secretaries who will not have vacated office. This is a presidential prerogative and cannot be forecasted or presumed until a Cabinet Reshuffle Executive Order is issued.

Outside of Government operations, as candidates weigh their options in deciding their preferred party, political parties will be expected to submit their party membership lists to the Commission by Apri 9l. Political Parties planning to present candidates in the election shall submit the names of persons contesting in the party primaries, the date and venues of the primaries on or before March 26, 2022. Party primaries are expected to take place on April 14, 2022.

This will be a prime opportunity for parties raking in millions if not, billions. How? There are 1,881 elective positions up for grabs. Assuming that parties receive single applications for each position, a party stands to make Ksh. 81.2 million from ward aspirants; Ksh 23.5 million from gubernatorial candidates; Ksh 11.75 million from Senate candidates; Ksh 9.4 million from women representative contestants and Ksh 72.5 million from parliamentary hopefuls. This will be the next frontier in this year’s political race.

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