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The ‘forgotten’ shareholders in Ruto’s government

By Freya Wanjiku October 11th, 2023 2 min read

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has maintained that plum government jobs remain the preserve of those who supported him and President William Ruto in the run up to the 2022 presidential elections.

This is not necessarily the case however, as some ‘shareholders’, as Gachagua prefers to refer to his support base, are yet to be rewarded despite working hard to ensure the Kenya Kwanza government is voted into office.

Here are some of them:

Dennis Itumbi

He was the chief government blogger in the run-up to the August 2022 polls.

After a spell in the cold, he was awarded the Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) position in the Ministry of Information, Communication, Technology, and Digital Economy. That was before the High Court declared the position as unconstitutional.

While he is still waiting for his turn for a second time, DP Gachagua had initially explained Itumbi’s role in the government.

While quelling rumours that he was jobless, the second in command shared that despite him (Itumbi) not having a designated office, he was a close aide to President Ruto.

“Many of you wonder what is the work of Itumbi. His office is known as come here, go there. He is a close friend of our President,” he said.

Then added, “Itumbi has no office, but he is in charge of everything. He arranges everything, he is the president’s handler.”

Milicent Omanga

Popularly known as Mama Mradi, Milicent served as nominated Senator, before unsuccessfully contesting for the Nairobi Women Representative seat.

She was then nominated as a CAS in the Ministry of Interior where she was required to provide liaison with the National Assembly and Senate and on matters of common interest between the Interior Ministry and County government.

However, just as the other 50 CAS’s her position was overruled by court and is still in the cold.

Benjamin Washiali

He served as the Mumias East MP since 2007 but did not defend his seat in the 2022 polls, instead opting to campaign for Dr Ruto in Western Kenya.

He was then appointed as the CAS in the Ministry of Transport but he lost the job when the court ruled the CAS positions as unconstitutional. Just like the rest, he is still waiting for his turn.

Okoth Obado

He served as the Migori governor between 2013 and 2017, and campaigned for President Ruto in Nyanza, Raila Odinga’s backyard, after electing not to run for an elective seat.

However, he is yet to be appointed to any seat even as he battles murder charges in court.

Miguna Miguna

He is among the politicians who fell out with Mr Odinga and elected to support Ruto on social media despite being in exile. However, upon President Ruto’s victory, Miguna was granted a return as part of his ‘compensation.’

He then applied for the role of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) job but was not successful.