List of cabinet secretaries in Kenya and their roles 2021

Structureless democracies topple at any slight distortion, hence the need for proper governance. In Kenya, the President has the support of the Cabinet in running the country’s affairs. They include professionals that head different government ministries. These are the pillars of the State; they form a formidable and robust wing of the executive. The Constitution is clear on the appointment, reassignment and dismissal of cabinet secretaries in Kenya. The President is mandated to nominate, and upon approval by Parliament, appoint his Cabinet.

Cabinet Secretaries in Kenya
List of cabinet secretaries in Kenya. Photo: @StateHouseKenya
Source: Twitter

The new Constitution implemented massive alterations in government structures and operations. Cabinet members, whom most were referred to as “ministers” are no more. A new, technical term has been adopted – “Cabinet Secretary.”

The change that brought Kenyan cabinet secretaries resulted in a phase of exercising duties and authorities by the specific occupants. The President, his Deputy, Attorney General and a minimum of fourteen cabinet secretaries make the Cabinet in Kenya. These appointees qualify after extensive parliamentary vetting. It is only after approval by the Members of Parliament that they start overseeing ministerial functions.

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Current cabinet secretaries in Kenya

Are you familiar with the latest list of cabinet secretaries in Kenya? Since they are state appointees, supporting the devolved government functions, they have distinct roles measurable by performance indicators.

1. Dr Fred O. Matiang’i, EGH – Interior and Coordination of National Government

Chief Administrative Secretary – Hussein Dado

2. Hon Najib Balala, EGH – Tourism & Wildlife

Chief Administrative Secretary – Joseph Boinnet

3. Mr James W. Macharia, EGH – Transport, Infrastructure, Housing, Urban Development & Public Works

Chief Administrative Secretary – Chris Obure and Wavinya Ndeti

4. Amb Raychelle A. Omamo – Foreign Affairs

Chief Administrative Secretary – Hon Ababu Namwamba

5. Amb Amina C. Mohamed, EGH, CAV – Sports, Culture & Heritage

Chief Administrative Secretary – Hassan Noor Hassan

6. Mr Adan A. Mohamed, EGH – East African Community & Regional Development

Chief Administrative Secretary – Ken Obura

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7. Mrs Sicily K. Kariuki, EGH – Water & Sanitation and Irrigation

Chief Administrative Secretary – Andrew Tuimur

8. Hon Charles Keter, EGH – Devolution and the ASALS

Chief Administrative Secretary – Abdul Bahari

9. Amb (Dr) Monica K. Juma, EGH – Energy and Petroleum

Chief Administrative Secretary – Simon Kapchapin

10. Mr Joe Mucheru, EGH – Information, Communication, Technology (ICT), Youth & Innovation

Chief Administrative Secretary – Maureen Magoma Mbaka and Nadia Ahmed Abdalla

11. Hon Peter Munya, EGH – Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries & Cooperatives

Chief Administrative Secretary – Linah Chebii and Anne Martha Muakami Nyaga

12. Prof Margaret Kobia, EGH – Public Service & Gender

Chief Administrative Secretary – Rachel Shebesh

13. Hon John K. Munyes, EGH Mining and Petroleum

Chief Administrative Secretary – John Mosonik

14. Hon Eugene L. Wamalwa, EGH – Defense

Chief Administrative Secretary – Peter Ondonyo

15. Mr Simon K. Chelugui, EGH – Labour & Social Services

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Chief Administrative Secretary – Patrick Ole Ntutu

16. Mr Keriako Tobiko, EGH – Environment & Forestry

Chief Administrative Secretary – Mohammed Elmi

17. Ms Farida C. Karoney, EGH – Lands & Physical Planning

Chief Administrative Secretary – Gideon Mungaro

18. Hon (Amb.) Ukur K. Yatani, EGH – National Treasury and Planning

Chief Administrative Secretary – Nelson Gaichuhie

19. Prof George A.O. Magoha, EGH – Education

Chief Administrative Secretary – Zachariah Kinuthia Mugure and Mumina Bonaya

20. Hon Mutahi Kagwe – Health

Chief Administrative Secretary – Rashid A. Amana and Mercy Mukui Mwangangi

21. Ms Betty Maina – Industrialization, Trade & Enterprise Development

Chief Administrative Secretary – Lawrence Karanja

The above list of new cabinet secretaries in Kenya has undergone public vetting by Parliament before swearing-in. They have different levels of experience in their professions. This team is a constitutional gift to Kenya. Various changes have taken place in the different governmental sectors due to their efforts.

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Facts about cabinet secretaries in Kenya

Everybody remembers the old status quo. After every general election, parliamentarians scrambled for a piece of the executive arm of government. Although the minister/MP role worked, it was ambiguous and full of mismanagement.

Therefore, at an opportunity to alter the supreme rule of the country, professionals made the amendment. Cabinet secretaries in Kenya today are not MPs. This is one of the significant changes implemented by the new Constitution in a move to reduce the administrative burden. It is a bold move with interest in increasing efficiency in ministries.

They affirm their faithfulness to the citizens of Kenya. On top of that, they are sworn in before the President. These ministerial heads fulfil their roles as mandated by the Constitution. There are definite terms on how they are supposed to be dismissed, reshuffled or appointed.

The President possesses the power to reassign and dismiss a Cabinet Secretary after they assume office. Also, a Member of Parliament (MP), supported by at least a quarter of all parliamentarians can propose a motion for the President to dismiss a Cabinet Secretary.

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For an MP to start the removal process, they have to certify that the Cabinet Secretary grossly violated the Constitution, committed crimes or performed gross misconduct. The appointee can also submit a written resignation letter while in office.

A dismissed Cabinet Secretary has a right to appear before the selected National Assembly committee during the investigations. If the report findings are substantial, the Cabinet Secretary has a chance to be heard after whereby the National Assembly shall vote whether they are in support or not.

Additionally, if the majority in the National Assembly supports the dismissal proposal, then the President shall dismiss the individual. Such occurrences may lead to the appointing of new staff to the affected positions.

The functions of Cabinet

Cabinet Secretaries in Kenya
The Cabinet is a prominent wing of the executive. Photo: @StateHouseKenya
Source: Twitter

The Cabinet is a prominent wing of the executive. They frequently hold meetings with the President and other members to update on the government’s state of affairs.

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The President

The President has the highest executive authority of the republic, with the assistance of the deputy and cabinet secretaries. He also has the power to assign, dismiss or replace any Cabinet Secretary.

The role of a Cabinet secretary in Kenya are evident; however, the Constitution states that they are accountable to the President. It also includes how they use the legal powers vested in them and their performance in the government.

The Deputy President

Article 147(3) of the Constitution allows the Deputy President to act as head of State, in the absence of the President. Moreover, the deputy can carry out presidential duties when the President is temporarily unable to function effectively.

The Cabinet Secretaries

These help in steering the country’s development. The Uhuru Cabinet list, which he has recently refreshed are vital players in the government’s agenda. They are supposed to dedicate their energy to their respective sectors and ascertain that everything is running smoothly.

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Cabinet secretaries in Kenya are also answerable to the people’s representatives – the Parliament. They do this by submitting periodic reports to different parliamentary committees. They oversee any undergoing development contracts in the governmental sectors.

The Attorney General

He or she is the country’s lawyer and chief legal advisor. Therefore, the AG is a professional that holds exceptional legal prowess. On top of that, he/she ensures that the rule of law is protected and upheld. The AG also defends the public interest.

Frequently asked questions on cabinet secretaries

The adoption process of the new Constitution was and still is a structural nightmare. Many amendments restructured different government departments. The Cabinet Secretary position was a major one. Hence, the public is in total disarray on who represents what ministry.

Who appoints cabinet secretaries?

The President appoints Kenyan Cabinet Secretaries. Although he has the powers as mentioned above, they are not without oversight. Before holding office, every nominated Cabinet Secretary undergoes public vetting through Parliament.

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It is only after the Members of Parliament’s approval that they become Cabinet Secretaries. The process might take a few days or even weeks, depending on the volume of approvals they are handling.

How many cabinet secretaries are there in Kenya?

Currently, there are 21 cabinet secretaries in Kenya. However, the recent reshuffles have resulted in two nominees that are awaiting approval by Parliament. The Constitution stipulates that the President can appoint a minimum of 14 and a maximum of 22 cabinet secretaries. Principal secretaries assist these state appointees in better management of different ministries.

What is the work of the cabinet?

The Kenyan Cabinet consists of the President, Deputy President, Attorney General and Cabinet Secretaries. These state officers act as the main governing body of the nation and fulfil different public roles. The Cabinet holds meetings to make decisions on significant matters of the country. Every decision ought to be made in writing.

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How are cabinet secretaries selected?

Since the President nominates all cabinet secretaries, he or she applies personal judgment in the shortlisting process. The Constitution states that the nominees must represent Kenya’s diverse culture.

Simply, put – Cabinet Secretaries are answerable to the President. However, they are individually and collectively responsible for their actions in office.

How much are cabinet secretaries paid in Kenya?

The Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) regularly posts the salaries that public servants ought to earn in a Kenyan Gazette Notice. Cabinet secretaries count as one of the best-paid civil servants with attractive gross pay and hefty allowances.

On average, most earn more than KSH.500,000 gross. SRC has been attempting to reduce the massive wage bill brought by devolution.

Who swears in cabinet secretaries in Kenya?

Ordinarily, cabinet secretaries are sworn in by the Head of Public Service at State House after passing the vetting process. The President, Deputy President and other invitees are usually present to preside over the ceremony. After the swearing-in operation, they assume their new role as cabinet secretaries responsible for their respective ministries.

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It is now ten years after the promulgation of the new Constitution. Many sections are yet to realize full implementation as different wings of government are struggling to terminate old structures. Cabinet secretaries in Kenya are a great representation of the efficiency created from the elimination of Ministers.

Tuko.co.ke posted an article that Fred Matiang’i is likely to become Kenya’s President in 2022. The latest poll shows that Matiang’i topped Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua in the national survey TIFA research conducted between November 7 and November 13, 2021 Read more in the article.

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Source: Tuko

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