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Rewarding loyalties: Itumbi, Mariga, Malala shortlisted for CAS jobs

By Wangu Kanuri February 21st, 2023 2 min read

Even before the dust settles on the ongoing debate about President William Ruto rewarding his loyalists with government jobs, the Public Service Commission has published a shortlist of candidates for the position of Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) that appears to affirm the notion.

This follows a ruling by the Employment and Labour Court to clear the Head of State into making appointments for these positions. In its ruling, the court dismissed a case filed by the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) which challenged the legality of creating CAS positions.

According to PSC the positions attracted 5,183 applications, out of which 224 have been shortlisted.

The shortlist is dominated by key allies of the president, including former governors and scores of polls losers. In the list is blogger and digital strategist Dennis Itumbi, former Kenyan international footballer McDonald Mariga, former Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala and journalist Lindah Ogutu.

Others are former Starehe MP Charles ‘Jaguar’ Kanyi, former Knut Secretary General Wilfred Sossion, former Kirinyaga Woman Rep Purity Ngirici, former Nairobi Senatorial candidate Bishop Margaret Wanjiru and former Trans Nzoia governor Patrick Khaemba.

Nairobi News profiles a few of these candidates:

Dennis Itumbi – He is considered one of the key allies of President Ruto and for a long time many had wondered why he is yet to be rewarded with a government job. Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua would later state that Mr Itumbi did not need an office as he is the ‘come here go there’ employee of President Ruto.

The controversial blogger has a substantial following and is believed to have played a vital role in the messaging of the President’s campaign during last year’s polls. Only recently, Mr Itumbi was nominated a committee member of the Ministry of Sports Creatives Technical Committee.

Lindah Ogutu – The TV journalist worked as a news anchor at KTN. She also served as chairperson of the Football Kenya Federation caretaker secretariat, a position she was appointed to by former Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed.

McDonald Mariga – The retired Kenyan football player is also in the frame for a state job. Mariga has twice lost in quest for the Kibra parlimentary seat. Mariga, who comes from a prominent sporting family is known to be specifically close to President Ruto.

President William Ruto with the then Kibra Parliamentary by-election candidate on Jubilee ticket Macdonald Mariga at Lindi grounds in Kibra on October 27, 2019. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL

Cleophas Malala – The eloquent albeit controversial politician is credited in some circles with convincing Musalia Mudavadi to work with President Ruto in the run-up to last year’s General election. He unsuccessfully contested for the Kakamega gubernatorial seat on an ANC ticket. During President Ruto’s recent visit to Kakamega, Cotu boss Francis Atwoli publicly asked the Head of State to give Malala a job.

Former Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala and then Deputy President during the Cleo Malala Tournament at Mumias Complex in Kakamega County on December 31, 2021. PHOTO | TONNY OMONDI

The shortlisted candidates will be interviewed at the PSC office in Nairobi starting March 1, 2023.

Candidates are required to bring originals of their national identity cards, academic and professional certificates, supporting documents and testimonials, and clearances from various bodies such as KRA, HELB, EACC, DCI, and CRB.

The PSC has also asked members of the public to avail any credible information of interest relating to any of the shortlisted candidates through sworn affidavits or online submissions to the PSC by 28th February 2023.

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