Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairperson Wafula Chebukati’s wife Mary Chebukati Wanyonyi is among those shortlisted for the positions of Principal Secretaries by the Public Service Commission (PSC).

Also on the list are around 20 PSs who served under the Jubilee administration as well as members of President Ruto economic advisory council.

Alfred Ombudo K’Ombudo and Dr Irene Asienga who are among the 477 persons who have been shortlisted for the plum jobs have been an integral part of President Ruto’s economic team which came up with his bottom-up economic model.

Mr K’Ombudo is a multi-award-winning advisor of African governments offering solutions to the most complex development challenges they face and has experience in over 14 African countries.

Through senior assignments at the World Bank, International Finance Corporation, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), East Africa Trade and Investment Hub and International Trade Centre, K’Ombudo has designed and implemented ground-breaking economic development, trade and investment projects.

Dr Asienga is a commissioner at the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA). She has over 15 years of experience in research, teaching and administration. 

Prior to joining the CRA, Dr Asienga worked as a Senior Lecturer and Director of Kabarak University, Nairobi Campus.

She is a former Dean, Business School and Head of Commerce Department at the same University.

Some of the poll losers and close allies of President Ruto who are perhaps looking for a reward for the role they played in the head of state’s State House journey include former Lang’ata MP Nixon Korir and his Kiminini counterpart Chris Wamalwa.

ODM’s Felix Oduor alias Jalang’o garnered 38, 948 votes while Mr Korir who was defending his seat for a second term on United Democratic Alliance (UDA) polled 36,836 votes.

Dr Wamalwa who was eyeing the Trans Nzoia gubernatorial seat on Ford Kenya lost to Governor George Natembeya who vied on the Democratic Action Party of Kenya (DAP-K).

Mr Natembeya received 158,919 votes, and his competitor Dr Wamalwa came in second with 79,020 votes.

Former Narok Governor Samuel Tunai who vied for the senatorial seat on UDA and lost to ODM’s Ledama Olekina has also been shortlisted.

Mr Tunai got 117, 869 votes against 135, 180 votes of Senator Olekina.

Former Wajir West MP Ahmed Kolosh and former Isiolo Woman Representative Rehema Jaldesa have also found their way into the list.

Former Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) boss Halakhe Waqo who vied for Isiolo gubernatorial seat on ODM and lost is also on the list as well as Francis Meja who lost during the UDA nominations for the Kajiado governor seat in April.

Other poll losers include Veska Kangogo and former Kericho Deputy Governor Lily Ngok.

Others are Dr Korir Sing’oei who has been Dr Ruto’s legal adviser and Prof Edward Kisiang’ani who has been a key person in the head of state’s communication team since the campaign period.

Former Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) boss Halakhe Waqo.
Former Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) boss Halakhe Waqo. Photo credit: Waweru Wairimu | Nation Media Group

The conspicuous Principal Secretaries who served in the Uhuru administration are Dr Chris Kiptoo (Environment and Forestry), Esther Koimett (Broadcasting and Telecommunications), Peter Kaberia (Industrialisation), Belio Kipsang (Regional and Northern Corridor Development), Julius Jwan (Education), Saitoti Torome (Planning), Francis Owino (Agriculture), Jerome Ochieng (ICT and Innovation), Charles Hinga (Housing), Margaret Mwakimu (TVET), Nelson Marwa (Social Protection), Fred Sigor (Wildlife).

Those who also served in the previous regime include Joseph Irungu, Ali Noor Ismail, Andrew Tuimur, Micah Powon, Simon Nabukwesi and Sarah Ruto among others.

Another person shortlisted is the wife to the late veteran politician Jakoyo Midiwo, Dr Rose Olayo Jakoroyo and academicians Stephen Gaya Agong’ VC, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology, Dr Duncan Ojwang Dean School of Law, Africa Nazarene University and Prof. Catherine Akinyi Muhoma – DVC Administration and Finance Maseno University.

Various heads of parastatals have also been shortlisted for the PS positions as well as the acting Director General for Health Dr Patrick Amoth.

Another key figure is Dr Wilson Aruasa, chief executive officer of Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH), Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) Managing Director Bernard Njiraini, Prof Thomas Kipkurgat (Rivatex), Sammy Naporos (Kerio Valley Development Authority), Nixon Sigey (New KCC), Charles Ringera (Helb), Prof Laban Ayiro (Vice Chancellor Daystar), Browne Kustwa (Communication PSC) and Bernard Ngugi (former Kenya Power boss).

While releasing the list, the Public Service Commission (PSC) stated that they had shortlisted 477 names from 9,154 applicants who had shown interest in the vacant posts.

PSC at the same time invited members of the public to give their views on the suitability of the candidates.

The PSC said the interviews will be held from October 12 to 22, 2022.

Currently, there are 44 Principal Secretaries serving in different State departments but the President has increased the figure to 49.

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