Raychelle Omamo weeps as she vacates Foreign Affairs Ministry
The Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Raychelle Omamo, on Friday wept as she carried out her last assignment in office.
Ms Omamo was among leaders who bid farewell to their boss, President Uhuru Kenyatta at his farewell ceremony at the Ulinzi Sports Complex in Lang’ata Barracks, Nairobi.
In a video clip that has been widely shared on social media, Ms Omamo is seen shedding tears as she walks past Kenyans of goodwill who had come to give President Kenyatta a sendoff after his nine-year service as the Commander-In-Chief of the Defence Forces.
President Uhuru leaving office is an emotional affair for many people including the ministers that served under him. But it shall be well. We wish them all well. pic.twitter.com/l8EMlzp36F
— Ahmed Mohamed ((ASMALi)) (@Asmali77) September 10, 2022
In Kenya, Cabinet Secretaries are appointed by the President and their terms end when the head of state’s tenure comes to an end. President Kenyatta is expected to hand over the reins of power to President-elect William Samoei Ruto this coming Tuesday.
Ms Omamo also served as Cabinet Secretary for Defense between 2013-2020 during President Uhuru’s first term in office.
During her Defense tenure, she oversaw the Kenya Defense Forces operation in Somalia under the African Union Mission in Somalia to fight the Al-Shabaab militia terrorizing the country and its neighbors.
One of her darkest moments as Defense CS was when four Al-Shabaab gunmen stormed Garissa University College and killed 147 people who identified as Christians. This was the second deadliest attack in Kenya after the 1998 bomb blast in Nairobi’s Central Business District.
Another tragedy that occurred during her Defense tenure was the September 2013 Westgate Shopping mall terror attack in which 68 people were killed and hundreds more injured.
In November 2017, the soft-spoken Ms Omamo made headlines after one of her male bodyguards was pictured carrying her handbag as she walked into a government office block.
Prior to her cabinet appointments, Ms Omamo was the first female chairperson at the Law Society of Kenya and also served as Kenya’s ambassador in France, Portugal, The Holy See and Serbia.
She has also served as Kenya’s permanent representative to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco).