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Ministers’ hard task ahead of UhuRuto fresh Cabinet naming

Anthony Mwangi @wairindimwangi

Panic has gripped Cabinet Secretaries after they were directed by the Presidency to prepare a report on how they intend to implement the Big Four pillars piloted by President Uhuru Kenyatta if reappointed.

The CSs were last week asked in a circular to prepare a 100-day transformation document detailing how they would address Uhuru’s agenda aimed at delivering services to the people. “We are currently in a hideout outside town preparing the report which should be presented before the Head of State and his deputy in the next Cabinet meeting,” said a source privy to the developments.

While delivering his New Year message at State House, Nairobi, Uhuru hinted at naming a new Cabinet in the next few weeks. The Big Four priorities are: food security, affordable housing, manufacturing and affordable healthcare as key pillars in his presidency.

The Head of State said the team would be mandated to deliver his Big Four Vision, aimed at steering economic development. “In the next few weeks, I will unveil the men and women to whom I will entrust delivery of the Big Four, and other programmes that will transform this country.

I will expect these men and women to serve Kenyans without partiality and with the very highest standard of integrity and efficiency,” Uhuru said then. Our source said CSs were not sure why the Presidency wants them to prepare a report and fear it might be used to gauge their capability to implement the Jubilee agenda.

Consequently, most of the CS have engaged the services of ministry technocrats and external experts to work on the proposed blueprints, outlining how they are expected to implement the pillars if re-appointed. Sources close to the Presidency hinted to People Daily that Uhuru and Ruto are trying to balance between their regime’s legacy and 2022 politics in forming the Cabinet.

“They would like to see a Cabinet that will lay solid ground for the President’s legacy while at the same time helping Ruto succeed the President in 2022,” said the source. Already, the two are said to have agreed on having a 22-member Cabinet, comprising 12 politicians and 10 technocrats as part of the move to achieve their twin strategy.

During his Jamhuri Day speech last month, Uhuru revealed the four pillars which his administration would focus on in his second term. He said his administration would focus on boosting manufacturing, with emphasis on four sub-sectors; the Blue Economy, Agro-Processing, Leather and Textiles.

“As part of the Big Four, our tea, coffee, meat, fruits and vegetables will be processed locally. This way, we will obtain more value from our produce and create more jobs and wealth for Kenyans,” the Head of State said then.

On shelter, Uhuru promises to make “every Kenyan a property owner”. He said by the end of his second term, half a million more Kenyans will own homes. “Under my Big Four plan, for the same amount of money you pay today as rent, you will be able to own home, and it will be a decent house, built to modern standards,” he said.

According to the president, this would be achieved by reducing the cost on mortgages and construction materials. He also promised to secure universal medical care by undertaking major policy and administrative reforms in the health sector.

“That plan requires strong collaboration between the National Hospital Insurance Fund and our private sector insurance providers. We will review the rules governing private insurers, to bring the cost of cover within the reach of every Kenyan,” Uhuru said. On food security, the President said the government would bring targeted taxation to put idle arable land to use.

And yesterday, US ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec said his government was ready to support the Jubilee government in the implementation of the four pillars. Godec said his government will put emphasis on the implementation of the health sector through the universal healthcare scheme.

“We have been funding the health sector to the tune of Sh80 billion and the figure is likely to go up to Sh100 billion. The support will, however, go through the counties,” Godec said when he paid a courtesy call on Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka.

The envoy added that US construction companies would also be involved in building of low-cost houses. Lusaka said the ‘Big Four’ would help in the creation of jobs, saying the Senate was ready to play its part towards this end. Uhuru said achieving the ‘Big Four’ would require implementation of the new education curriculum and enabling industry-led technical and vocational education and training.

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