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May 26, 2018

Uhuru’s appointments lack Face of Kenya aspects

President Uhuru Kenyatta with outgoing Attorney General (AG) Prof. Githu Muigai after the AG handed-in his resignation letter to the President at State House, Nairobi, February 13. /PSCU
President Uhuru Kenyatta with outgoing Attorney General (AG) Prof. Githu Muigai after the AG handed-in his resignation letter to the President at State House, Nairobi, February 13. /PSCU

President Uhuru Kenyatta has made momentous appointments. Attorney-General Githu Muigai resigned at a time government has created a perception that the State is disobeying court orders.

The replacement is the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Paul Kihara Kariuki. He was touted to replace former Chief Justice Willy Mutunga when he retired, before Justice David Maraga beat him to the tape.

Will he negotiate the political terrain? Will he advise the government to disobey the orders he has been issuing as a judge? A serious paradox.

When we look at former Solicitor General Njee Muturi, a very close confidant of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s, he has been appointed Deputy to a Chief of Staff who is supposed to retire. Is he likely to take over from Joseph Kinyua?

Read: List of Uhuru's Cabinet nominees

The President has also dropped very key people perceived to be close to him – like Abdikadir Mohammed.

David Murage’s prediction that in his second and final term President Uhuru Kenyatta is going to be ruthless and and hard on everybody, but ultimately benevolent, resonates.

We have seen the new face of the President, ruthless without notice. He is moving his agenda regardless of what people say.

The challenge the President’s appointments are posing is one: Do they represent the face of the Republic? That is the question of inclusivity.

Is the President rewarding only people loyal to Jubilee? That is a question that everybody is asking.

Several PSs were appointed on Monday, they represent the inner core of Jubilee. Where is the face of the Republic?

The President has taken the constitutional mandate to appoint, the question that begs is he has a legacy to achieve but what about inclusivity in his appointments?

It is going to raise a lot of pressure within NASA zones and other communities where they are feeling that some communities are getting a raw deal. Is the President representing the face of the Republic or is he President of the Jubilee strongholds only?

The President has also appointed his close loyalists, his personal friends, his personal lawyers. He is dealing with his second and final term based on loyalty.

Will these people who are being appointed stand up to the President, the DP and government and say “this is wrong or unconstitutional”?

AG Githu Muigai has said that he has resigned.

The writer is a lawyer and political analyst

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