Kenya's Most Authoritative Political Newspaper

Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 25 January 2015

NKAISSERY JOINS UHURU KITCHEN CABINET

The presence of interior cabinet secretary Joseph Nkaissery who is a member of cord at the jubilee meeting in Naivasha has confirmed what Kenyans have been speculating for the last few days. That Nkaissery is enjoying a special relationship with Uhuru Kenyatta and that he has indeed joined the coveted president’s kitchen cabinet.
This notwithstanding the fact  a faction of Uhuru handlers were not comfortable with his appointment and were pushing for the naming of Transport cabinet secretary Michael Kamau to land the security docket. However they were unsuccessful when regional and tribal politics played out. For Uhuru to endear himself to the Maasai community, one of them had to replace Joseph Ole Lenku. 
Nkaissery has now officially joined the kitchen cabinet and is Uhuru’s trusted lieutenant. Sources at Harambee House say he has started eclipsing the Devolution cabinet secretary Anne Waiguru as the most powerful CS in the Jubilee administration. His political godfather is Chief of the General Staff Julius Karangi no less. Outside the Kenyatta family members that surround Uhuru, it is only Karangi whom Uhuru now believes means what they say.
But is not only the kitchen cabinet that is now feling the heat following Nkaissery’s appointment. Back in the Maasai region, before his appointment, MPs Katoo Ole Metito  of Kajiado South and Kajiado North’s Moses ole Sakuda of the ruling Jubilee had entrenched themselves as the most significant leaders from the region. Reports have it, the Security CS has promised to deliver the Kajiado Central seat to TNA in the looming by-election.
That Nkaiserry is the one calling the shots in Maasai politics is no secret.Uhuru is said to have tasked him to re-unite various factions in Narok county politics that are calling for the removal of Governor Moses Tunai.
To show how powerful Nkaissery has become, last week, he represented Uhuru during the opening of the fifth session of the Forum of Parliaments of Member States of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region. One would have expected Uhuru to be represented by either the speaker or majority leader.
Following the Lang’ata  Primary School land grabbing saga where police lobbied tear gas canisters on school children, it was Nkaissery who was summoned by Uhuru to deliver the government’s apology to the parents and the pupils. Nkaissery was dispatched to Lang’ata Primary for damage control.
Later he dresseddown Lands cabinet minister Charity Ngilu in what many saw as sending a message that Nkaissery is a superminister amongst ministers. Nkaissery in what amounted to  ordering a fellow minister said: “The Lands cabinet secretary and National Lands Commission chair should come out today and name the private developer linked to the school’s land grabbing. If they fail to name the person, they should be ready for consequences”.
There are those who are now saying that Nkaeissery is being used to kick out Ngilu from the cabinet after he humiliated her with the order to name the land thieves. The consequences have been interpreted to mean Ngilu could as well be shown the door. And to the surprise of many, Ngilu went ahead to reveal the Asian owners of the plot. Earlier the president himself had uncharacteristically hit out at Ngilu in what was later interpreted as setting the tone for Nkaissery.
Upon his appointment, Nkaissery now enjoys a 24-hour access to the president both at Harambee House and State House. He also enjoys direct communication through his direct line both at his ministerial office at Harambee House and at his residential house. He also now sits in the powerful National Security Council. 
Military sources divulged that Karangi and Nkaissery get along well and with their combination, security situation is likely to improve.
Sources say there was bad blood between Karangi and former Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo as was witnessed during the operations at the West Gate Mall and that allegedly hampered the operations.
For the short time he has been in office, Nkaissery has proven that he is up to the task although fellow cabinet ministers say he is abrasive and combative and has no respect for some of them. Back in Kajiado, his friends must endure with being ordered  around.
Uhuru and Nkaissery relationship is not new. It started during the Kanu days when Nkaissery was a key player in Uhuru’s first bid for the presidency in 2002. He was Uhuru’s pointman in Narok and Kajiado. William ole Ntimama  ditched Kanu for Narc leaving Nkaissery as the most reliable Kanu man to campaign for Uhuru and Kanu.
Nkaissery served as Kanu’s deputy secretary general until 2007. They parted with Uhuru  when Uhuru supported Mwai Kibaki’s re-election in 2007 and joined ODM where he supported Raila Odinga.
Uhuru’s kitchen cabinet comprises a small clique of unelected but highly specialised and experienced individuals, some of them among the richest people in Kenya.
 Major players in Uhuru’s  kitchen cabinet  are Kenya’s First Lady Margaret, his mother Mama Ngina and brother Muhoho Kenyatta.
George Muhoho is another key player. He is Uhuru’s uncle and a former director general of the Kenya Airports Authority.  Muhoho is brother of Mama Ngina.
Jomo Gechaga the president’s nephew is another key member. He is the president’s private secretary.
Others are Karangi, Chris Kirubi and Joseph Kinyua who is Chief of Staff and Head of Civil Service.
Michael Kamau, the Transport cabinet secretary, Solicitor General Njee Muturi who is a longtime Uhuru loyalist and Waiguru are members of the president’s inner circle.