As 51 principal secretaries appointed by president William Ruto settle in office after being sworn in at State House on Friday, fresh revelations have emerged on some of the intrigues behind their stay out of office after nomination.
After the president nominated the 51 PSs who were to undergo a vetting process by the national assembly, some people among them, the Law Society of Kenya went to court to block the process from going on, citing gender, tribal and regional imbalances in the entire nomination.
The national assembly on its part argued in court that, according to the law, if the 51 nominees are not vetted within 28 days, then they will automatically be sworn into office.
According to this law, if the national assembly delays vetting, then the nominees will be automatically sworn into office.
On Tuesday, the Employment and Labour Relations Court dismissed three petitions challenging the 51 PSs nominees.
Justice Nduma Nderi ruled that petitions by LSK, activist Fredrick Bikeri and Magare Gikenyi were filed prematurely, and that the court can only be approached once the national assembly concludes the vetting process.
Talking to Weekly Citizen on Friday, a cross section of employees in different ministries said that a number of senior government that could not be mentioned for security reasons had allegedly sponsored some of the cases filed at the court to stop the principal secretaries from being appointed, thus dragging the working of Ruto government and enable some corrupt officers to clean up their mess in the ministries before the new administration takes over.
At the ministry of Lands which has had serious claims of corruption during the past regime, it was cited that there was a likelihood of the blames being channeled to the PS case in court.
Word has it that at the Transport ministry, former CS James Macharia wanted his principal secretary to remain in office to continue cutting deals in the lucrative ministry as the court case proceeded and he is said to have been one of the financiers.
“The head of human resource here is madam Janerose Karanja who is a sister of former Interior principal secretary Karanja Kibicho, and she oversaw the employment of about 300 casuals irregularly, and what is alleged is that, they were recently told to raise Sh2,000 each for retention of their services and where that money was going to is not clearly known,” said a source who sought anonymity.
According to the source, those who refused to part with the alleged donation were warned of dismissal from their casual work in a communication from those who were taking the money said was allegedly from Madam Karanja said to have been close and loyal to the immediate former Lands cabinet secretary Farida Karoney.
The principal secretary during Karoney time was Nicholas Muraguri when the Pangani low cost housing project was in progress and where senior government officials are said to have grabbed the houses meant for the downtrodden in society.
Former occupiers of State House bought two floors of the estate during Karoney and Muraguri’s tenure at the ministry.
At the ministry of Internal Security, and before the new administration could take its space in government offices properly, there were claims by the ministry workers of people demanding money for retention, promotion or acquisition of jobs, which majority of them was a scam.
Then headed by Fred Matiangi as the cabinet secretary and Kibicho as the principal secretary, they had some people in the security allegedly duped in giving money in exchange of favours and privileges.
At one time, it was claimed that a senior officer was conned of large sum of money by a politician who presented himself as powerful and close to retired president and would help him become one of the senior officers in the security department in the country.
It was claimed that some of the proceeds may have been used to fund a case aimed at slowing down the appointment of principal secretaries in the country.
The ministry is now headed by Kindiki Kithure as the CS and Raymond Omolo as the principal secretary.
Other ministries that seem to have been used to get money by unscrupulous people to gain funds to use in the PSs cases is the Information ministry then headed by Joe Mucheru as the CS and Jerome Ochieng as the PS.
It is alleged that some media houses, having been starved of advertising funds and with many of their workers complaining and threatening to down tools, were visited by brokers ready to help them get their dues from the government through Government Advertising Authority.
Further, it is claimed that the brokers reached out to some old regime operators in the city with an advice to get funding from friendly different ministries to help them in raising funds to use in court on the Ruto administration principal secretaries.
“The money could not come directly from the ministry accounts because of accounting queries, so a clever way to raise the money had to be invented,” said an officer at the Information ministry.
Parliament on Thursday unanimously approved the list of the principal secretaries who are: – 1. Julius Korir – State Department for Cabinet Affairs 2. Teresia Mbaika – State Department for Devolution 3. Esther Ngero – State Department for Performance and Delivery Management 4. Aurelia Rono – State Department for Parliamentary Affairs 5. Raymond Omollo – State Department for Interior and National Administration 6. Mary Muriuki – State Department for Correctional Services 7. Julius Bitok – State Department for Citizen Services 8. Chris Kiptoo – The National Treasury 9. James Muhati – State Department for Economic Planning 10. Patrick Mariro – Defence 11. Korir Sing’oei – State Department for Foreign Affairs 12. Roseline Njogu – State Department for Diaspora Affiars 13. Amos Gathecha – State Department for Public Service 14. Veronica Nduva – State Department for Gender and Affirmative Action 15. Joseph Mbugua – State Department for Roads 16. Mohamed Dhagar – State Department for Transport 17. Nixon Korir – State Department for Lands and Physical Planning 18. Charles Hinga – State Department for Housing and Urban Development 19. Joel Arumonyang – State Department for Public Works 20. Edward Kisiangani – State Department for Broadcasting and Telecommunications 21. John Tanui – ICT and Digital Economy.