Lamu leaders cry foul after region misses slots in Uhuru Cabinet

Lamu Senator Anwar Loitiptip and woman representative Ruweida Obo during a tour of the county on Sunday, January 28, 2018. /PRAXIDES CHETI
Lamu Senator Anwar Loitiptip and woman representative Ruweida Obo during a tour of the county on Sunday, January 28, 2018. /PRAXIDES CHETI

Lamu leaders are divided over President Uhuru Kenyatta's Cabinet appointments which were unveiled last Friday.

Whereas a section of the leaders have lauded the choices, others cited flaws in the same saying the changes did not factor regional balance.

Lamu senator Anwar Loitiptip and woman representative Ruweida Obo expressed displeasure with the 22-member Cabinet line up.

They said on Sunday that the list had no single representative from Lamu further saying it is unfair for some counties to be given two slots.

The two leaders said this is despite Lamu being on the forefront in campaigning for the Jubilee Party during the August 8 and October 26 presidential elections.

"It is unfortunate that the president was not kind and courteous enough to reward us with a single appointment," Loitiptip said.

He said they feel short-changed, especially since the other five coastal counties got slots apart from Lamu.

Loitiptip said he is considering petitioning Parliament if Lamu will not benefit from the yet-to-be-filled ambassadorial, parastatal, and Cabinet slots.

"I am very disappointed. We worked hard to turn Lamu from an opposition stronghold to a Jubilee zone yet we don’t get even one appointment."

"The president should remember the massive support he got from this region and give us one appointment in the remaining posts," he said.

"The situation as it is at the moment is very unfair. We are the only Coastal county with no appointee in the Cabinet."

Obo said Lamu people are tired of being marginalised, especially on matters to do with leadership appointments.

"We are not happy after the president failed to pick an individual from the county to replace the late Public Works PS Mariam El Maawy."

The PS died after her convoy was attacked by al Shabaab last year.

"Residents were hoping that El Maawy’s replacement would be picked from Lamu but we are so shocked that didn’t happen," Obo said.

"Mariam died while working for the government and its so unfortunate that they want her forgotten just like that. We are, however, hopeful."

For his part, Lamu West MP Stanley Muthama lauded the appointments saying he has confidence the president will consider appointing someone from the region.

Nine slots, among them those of six principal secretaries and three Cabinet Administrative Secretary (CAS), are yet to be filled.

On Friday, Uhuru promised to ensure that the remaining positions will be filled soon.

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