10 Embarrassing Things President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Cabinet Secretaries Did in 2018

10 Embarrassing Things President Uhuru Kenyatta's Cabinet Secretaries Did in 2018

When President Uhuru Kenyatta named his cabinet in January 2018, a lot was expected from them by both him and members the public.

Much has transpired from the election up until the delayed revelations of his choices for Cabinet.

Uhuru had already unveiled his Big Four Agenda and these individuals were chosen to help steer the country in that direction.

12 months later, kenyagist.com undertook to find out which among the CSs had done contrary to their jobs,  thereby bringing dishonour to their Ministry and appointing authority.

1. Education CS Amina Mohamed’s botched Curriculum

A furious President Uhuru Kenyatta summoned Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed in the sidelines of his working tour of Kisumu County.

He called her to a meeting to put her on notice over the confusion created by the botched roll out of the new 2-6-6-3 curriculum.

The CS had told the Senate Education Committee that the ministry was not ready for the roll out and that it is too important to be rushed.

The president is very sensitive to the education sector and has pledged that the education budget will be closer to 30 percent of Kenya’s total budget.

President Uhuru Kenyatta and Education CS Amina Mohammed

2. Tourism CS Najib Balala’s “Go to hell” comment

In July, Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala told his critics to go to hell saying they did not appoint him.

“Nobody has appointed me. It is only President Uhuru Kenyatta who has appointed me. So, they can go to hell. I can tell them that,” he remarked

He was responding to calls for him to be fired over the mysterious deaths of 11 rhinos that he had directed to be moved from Nairobi and Lake Nakuru National parks to Tsavo Game Reserve.

While appearing before the Parliamentary Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, the CS blamed the outburst on his emotions and regretted his dragging the of President Uhuru’s name in the angry response.

Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala

3. Sports CS Rashid Echesa Nudes Scandal

A nasty political duel between Sports Cabinet Secretary Rashid Echesa and Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala degenerated into a scandal after revelations that the CS allegedly tried to frame the latter with fake nude photographs.

He reportedly paid three journalists to photoshop Malala’s image to portray him in a compromising situation with a non-existent woman.

The strategy was to flood the Internet with the pornographic pictures in a bid to tarnish Malala’s reputation, especially in Kakamega, where their supremacy battles have played out openly.

The two latter called a truce and decided to put the matter behind them

4. Health CS Sicily Karuiki and Kenyatta National Hospital Brain Surgery  Scandal

One of the worst cases of medical malpractice to become public at Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) happened when a surgeon performed brain surgery on the wrong patient.

The two men had been wheeled into KNH unconscious. One needed head surgery to remove a blood clot in his brain, while the other only required nursing and medication to heal a trauma swelling in his head.

Doctors did not realise the mistake until hours into the surgery when they discovered there was no blood clot in the brain of the man sprawled on the operating table.

Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki was put on the spot over the saga and suspending KNH CEO Lily Koros didn’t help take heat off her back.

Members of Parliament crafted a motion to impeach her but it was thrown out after the intervention of Garissa Township MP Aden Duale.

5. Agriculture CS Mwangi Kiunjuri and National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) Maize Scandal

A tough-talking President Kenyatta sent a stern warning to Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri during the Nairobi International Trade Fair, because of payments made to maize cartels.

NCPB had been accused of making payments to traders and brokers, thus leaving no money for farmers who supplied the maize.

As he left the podium, speaking in Kikuyu, a visibly angry Uhuru cautioned Kiunjuri against making payments to the brokers again cautioning, “Mungiriha ni mukwona  (If you pay I’ll deal with you)!”

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri

6. Transport CS James Macharia and SGR Phase Two Funding 

Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia inferred that he failed to secure funds for the second phase of the Standard Gauge Railway during the China Africa Forum in September.

This was occasioned by the Chinese President Xi Jinping’s decision to defer granting President Uhuru’s Ksh380 billion funding request that the project would cost.

At the time, Macharia’s team had not completed a feasibility study that was required by China.  

7. Interior CS Fred Matiang’i and skipping Parliament summons.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i is notorious for not honouring summons to Parliament to answer questions about his docket.

National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi on has threatened that the House will deal with him for snubbing the House. 

In November, an infuriated Muturi directed the National Security Committee to summon Matiang’i to appear before it without fail or let the house deal with him.

“Summon the CS, failure to which the House can deal with him. We can drag him to the House. We cannot entertain a situation where 60 questions remain unanswered,” remarked Speaker Muturi.

8. Health CS Sicily Kariuki’s Office Kitchen

The Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki attracted outrage after reports emerged that she had evicted senior staff at Afya House to create room for expansion of her office.

The office was set to occupy over three-quarters of the floor was to have come complete with a kitchen, a changing room and meeting rooms.

Senior officials lamented the prudence of CS Kariuki taking three-quarters of the floor while the other staff was overcrowding in the building.

President Uhuru Kenyatta had warned CSs against lavishness during their swearing-in reminding them that assuming office as heads of ministries required adherence to servant leadership.

Health CS Sicily Kariuki when she appeared before the Senators

9. Sports CS Rashid Achesa and the Kenya Amputees Team Saga

CS Rashid Achesa’s name was again tainted after it emerged the Sports Ministry had abandoned the Kenya Amputees National Football Team during their World Cup campaign in Mexico.

The ministry failed to sponsor the team forcing Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko to intervene by sponsoring the team himself.

His intervention rubbed Achesa the wrong was as he warned him against interfering with his job.

When the team jetted back to the country, they were again treated to a night in the cold at the Ministry headquarters.

The visibly exhausted players, whose trip was punctuated by a 21-hour delay owing to a mix up in the booking of flights by the government, decided to sleep on the floor as they awaited their fate.

The players’ agenda was to present the ministry of sports with the trophy and the report from their achievement in the world cup tournament.

10. Sports CS Rashid Achesa, Treasury CS Henry Rotich and Kshs 12 billion Betting tax.

Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich and Sports counterpart Rashid Achesa were caught up in a fight to control the proceeds of the taxes imposed on betting companies.  

Rotich created the Sports, Arts and Social Development Fund, whose mandate is the same as the Sports Act 2013, which established the initial National Sports Fund.

The directive took the money from the Sports docket, which is struggling from under-funding and has not been able to meet its financial responsibilities towards sports federations.

The president appointed 91-year old former Vice President Moody Awori to the sports fund to safeguard it from corrupt individuals

Sports Cabinet Secretary Rashid Achesa in Parliament


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