While rumours have long persisted of Cabinet Secretaries’ and Principal Secretaries’ plans for 2022, criticism is now being directed at them with some questioning whether the split focus is affecting service delivery.
Among the critics is Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria who on Sunday, July 12, claimed that a vast majority of the cabinet had its eyes set on elective seats in various regions.
“75% of Cabinet Secretaries, Principal Secretaries and Chief Administrative Secretaries are preparing to contest elective seats in 2022.
“The confirmed ones will contest for various seats in Muranga, Kirinyaga, Nyeri, Meru, Nyandarua, Kiambu, Narok, Nairobi, Busia, Siaya, Trans Nzoia, Mombasa, Kilifi, Kisii, Nyamira and Kisumu. Sijui kazi itafanyika aje (I don’t know how any work is supposed to be done),” he asserted.
Several Cabinet Secretaries are alleged to be planning to take over as Governors of various counties come 2022.
Notably, Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i, has been tipped as a likely contestant for higher office including the Presidency. He has also been touted as a candidate for Prime Minister should the position be created as part of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) process.
It has also been reported, however, that Matiang’i was considering joining the Nyamira gubernatorial race.
Various meetings and endorsements from community leaders have been cited as part of the plan to solidify Matiang’i’s political influence in the larger Kisii region.
Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho has also been accused of eyeing the Kirinyaga Governor’s seat currently occupied by Anne Waiguru come 2022.
Verbal clashes between Kibicho and the Governor over national government projects in the county have fueled speculation that Kibicho was looking to replace Waiguru.
When Members of the Kirinyaga County Assembly brought an impeachment motion against Governor Waiguru, it was claimed in some quarters that Kibicho orchestrated the ouster motion. Kibicho, however, denied the allegations.
Water Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki has been widely linked to a planned bid for the position of Governor of Nyandarua County in 2022.
In May, Nyandarua Governor Francis Kimemia accused Kariuki of campaigning in the county under the guise of development tours.
“We have seen people going round the county pretending to be inspecting government projects when we know they are campaigning. We do not want politics, especially during this time when we are fighting the Covid-19 pandemic,â€ he told reporters at the time in an apparent reference to CS Kariuki.
Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala disclosed in a past interview that he was considering running for Governor of Mombasa County in 2022.
Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho is currently serving his final term, with Balala and Shabhal touted as two of his likely successors.
Kisauni MP Ali Mbogo of the Wiper Democratic Movement and his Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir have also been linked to possible runs for the seat.
Former Meru Governor Peter Munya has also been linked to a return to the county in 2022.
The Agriculture CS joined President Uhuru Kenyatta’s cabinet after losing the Gubernatorial race to Kiraitu Murungi in 2017.
He still commands political influence in Meru County and remains the leader of the Party of National Unity (PNU).
Petroleum Cabinet Secretary John Munyes has been said to be plotting a run for Governor of Turkana County in 2022.
Turkana Governor Josphat Nakok is serving his second and final term, with the succession race wide open.
Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe has become a familiar figure to many Kenyans during the Covid-19 period thanks to his daily briefings.
The CS, who lost the Nyeri County Gubernatorial race to the late Wahome Gakuru in 2017, is said to be considering another stab at the position in 2022.
His handling of the pandemic has endeared him to many Kenyans and raised his political stock particularly in the Mt. Kenya region.
Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa has been linked to a gubernatorial run in Trans Nzoia county in 2022.
Alongside Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya, he has been one of the most active supporters of the Building Bridges Initiative in 2022.
Kiminini MP Chris Wamalwa has also been mentioned as a likely contestant for the position in the next general election.