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Jubilee pointmen Lusaka and Tuju set for key posts

President Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto have started rewarding their key lieutenants in the just-concluded elections.

On Wednesday, they said they would co-opt Jubilee secretary-general Raphael Tuju into the Cabinet and asked MPs and senators to retain National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi and vote in former Bungoma Governor Ken Lusaka as the Senate Speaker.

Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya, who joined Jubilee in the lead-up to the August 8 elections, was also proposed for the Council of Governors chairman’s post for fighting to retain his seat in a region dominated by the opposition.

Mr Muturi, an ally of President Kenyatta since their foray into politics in 1997, and Mr Lusaka are expected to be elected easily on Thursday afternoon after MPs take oath of office, since Jubilee commands numbers in both Houses.

EKWEE ETHURO

The fate of outgoing Senate Speaker Ekwee Ethuro was not immediately known.

Mr Tuju, who was appointed in March as Jubilee secretary-general and led the party to parliamentary victory at the General Election, will be incorporated into Cabinet, according to sources.

This will, however, will be subject to the outcome of tomorrow’s decision by the Supreme Court on the presidential election.

Sources indicated that he will be instrumental in guiding the Cabinet to ensure the Jubilee manifesto is implemented.

In addition, he will also be chairing parliamentary group meetings and, therefore, a key cog between the Legislature and the Executive.

Sources further indicated that the new MPs were warned against going against the wishes of the party.

PROMISES

“They were told in no uncertain terms that the President and Deputy President will brook no opposition from the party ranks in their goal to achieve their promises.

Any MP who rebels will have the recall clause activated straight from the constituency,” said a source.

Another source added that the President told the MPs he will be keenly following the events in Parliament but assured MPs that any grievances they raise at the parliamentary group meetings would be acted upon.

At the National Assembly, Mr Muturi will be deputised by Kuresoi MP Moses Cheboi, replacing Governor Joyce Laboso.

Garissa Town MP Aden Duale retains his seat as Majority Leader and he will be deputised by Kitutu Chache North MP Jimmy Angwenyi.

Mr Angwenyi served as a commissioner at the Parliamentary Service Commission.

CHIEF WHIP

He replaces Taveta’s Naomi Shaban, who is missing in the list that was approved by members.

Former Deputy Chief Whip Benjamin Washiali is set to take over as the boss, replacing Mr Katoo ole Metito of Kajiado South. He will be deputised by Nominated MP Cecily Mbarire.

Mr Angwenyi’s and Mr Washiali’s elevation is seen as a reward for the significant votes Jubilee received in Kisii and Western, compared to the 2013 performance.

In Senate, Mr Lusaka will be deputised by former Leader of Majority Kithure Kindiki of Tharaka-Nithi.

Prof Kindiki’s position will be taken by his former deputy, Elgeyo-Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen.

STEPPED DOWN

Sources in Jubilee indicated that some candidates for the Deputy Speaker stepped down in favour of Prof Kindiki.

Jubilee may also find itself facing a barrage of accusations as it has not fronted a woman for the four top positions in Parliament despite having campaigned on a platform of women empowerment.

Those who had applied for Senate Deputy Speaker’s post were Nairobi’s Johnson Sakaja, Irungu Kang’ata (Murang’a), Kimani Wamatangi (Kiambu) and Nakuru’s Susan Kihika.

Two other women had also applied for the National Assembly Deputy Speaker —  Martha Wangari (Gilgil)  and Naisula Lesuuda (Samburu West) – who dropped their bids.

SUSAN KIHIKA

Isiolo Senator Fatuma Dullo is the first elected female senator from the pastoralist region.

The Senate Chief Whip’s post is expected to go to Ms Kihika, deputised by Mr Kang’ata.

If confirmed, Mr Kang’ata becomes the senior-most politician not only in Murang’a but across the five counties in Central.

The President and his Deputy are said to have met Jubilee governors and urged them to front Mr Mvurya as the next chairman of Council of Governors.

He promised a close working relationship between national and county governments. The current Council of Governors chairman is Turkana’s Josephat Nanok.

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