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Cablegate: Kibaki, Odinga Agree On Key Civil Service

VZCZCXRO0664
PP RUEHROV
DE RUEHNR #1126/01 1201228
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 291228Z APR 08
FM AMEMBASSY NAIROBI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5650
INFO RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 0062
RUEHDR/AMEMBASSY DAR ES SALAAM 5952
RUEHDJ/AMEMBASSY DJIBOUTI 5249
RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 2787
RUEHKH/AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM 2028
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 2803
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 2725
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RHMFIUU/CJTF HOA

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 NAIROBI 001126

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

LONDON AND PARIS FOR AFRICA WATCHERS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PHUM PGOV KDEM KE
SUBJECT: KIBAKI, ODINGA AGREE ON KEY CIVIL SERVICE
APPOINTMENTS

REF: NAIROBI 1041

-------
SUMMARY
-------

1. President Kibaki and Prime Minister Odinga have agreed on
the appointment of high-level civil service appointments for
the new grand coalition government. On April 22, President
Kibaki announced the names of Permanent Secretaries (PS) for
the 42 Cabinet positions, as well as 23 Secretaries for major
departments of certain ministries. Many are holdovers from
the previous government, but there are some new faces. Six
PSs from the previous government were retired, but another
six -- including controversial Head of Civil Service Francis
Muthaura -- were retained despite exceding the mandatory
retirement age of 55. This has led to speculation that a
second round of appointments could follow in the months to
come. Our analysis of names shows that 25 of the 42 PSs have
PNU sympathies, while the remaining 17 are ODM-affiliated.
The ethnic distribution of these positions is diverse. The
appointment of PSs was expected to be a contentious issue
(reftel A), so the quick agreement is good news. Kibaki and
Odinga continue to discuss appointments to parastatal
companies and ambassadorial positions, though these are
unlikely to be announced as a package. End Summary.

--------------------------------
Continuity, with new blood, too
--------------------------------

2. President Kibaki and Prime Minister Odinga have agreed on
the appointment of high-level civil service appointments for
the new grand coalition government. On April 22, President
Kibaki announced the names of Permanent Secretaries (PS) for
the 42 Cabinet positions, as well as 23 Secretaries for major
departments of certain ministries. The appointment of PSs
and Secretaries is important because they are the lead
operational officers in government. They are responsible for
policy implementation and the day-to-day management of
government ministries, departments, and corporations, and
wield enormous influence. Twenty four of 31 permanent
secretaries from the previous government were retained,

SIPDIS
although ten were reassigned. Six PSs from the prior
government, having exceeded the mandatory retirement age of
55, were retired. Interestingly, Kibaki retained six PSs and
appointed two new PSs who are older than 55. One of the six
who was retained despite being of retirement age is Head of
Civil Service Francis Muthaura. Expectations were that
Muthaura would be retired for his staunch defense of
presidential prerogatives during the Cabinet negotiations.
Some contacts have concluded that Kibaki did not want to
force Muthaura into retirement for fear it be interpreted as
a concession to ODM, but they expect that Muthaura will
resign or be replaced within the next year.

3. Academia was the largest source of new PS and Secretary
appointments, in keeping with past practice. A number of
appointments were made on political grounds, such as the
placement of Mohamed Isahakia as PS of the Prime Minister's
Office. Isahakia was a key figure in the Cabinet
negotiations. The new Ministry of Labor PS, Beatrice Naliaka
Wasike, was appointed as a reward for having been bumped from
a promised nominated MP slot that President Kibaki gave
instead to Ford Kenya leader Musikari Kombo. Likewise ODM-K
appointed the new Secretary for Sports, Daniel Maanzo, as
compensation for having failed to obtain a nominated MP slot.

----------------------------------
Political and Ethnic Affiliations
----------------------------------

4. An analysis of political tendencies of PSs indicate that
25 lean towards PNU, while 17 are seen as pro-ODM. Holdover
PSs tend to be PNU supporters, but there are a number of
retained PSs with ODM loyalties. In slotting PSs into
ministries, the major ministries controlled by PNU (Internal
Security, Defence, Justice, Finance, and Energy) all received
PSs perceived to be pro-PNU. Two of ODM's major ministries
(Local Government and the Prime Minister's Office) are

NAIROBI 00001126 002 OF 002


likewise staffed with ODM-leaning PSs, while the third is
staffed by PS perceived to be pro-PNU. Otherwise, it appears
that the mix of Ministers and PSs is heterogeneous; 11 PNU
ministers will work with an ODM-leaning PS, while 12 ODM
ministers will work with a PNU-leaning PS.

5. Looking at PSs from an ethnic viewpoint, GEMA (Kikuyu,
Embu, Meru) is most highly represented, with 12 PSs.
Kalenjin/Maasai are second with eight, while Luhya have six;
Muslims (Somali, Arabs, etc) have five PSs. There are four
Luo PSs, while the remaining PS slots are distributed among
western Kenyan Bantus (Kisii/Kuria) and Coastal groups (Taita
and Mijikenda).

-------
COMMENT
-------

6. The quick resolution of what was expected to be a sticky
issue is a positive step. In contrast to the Cabinet
appointments, no major objections to the slate of PSs have
been voiced by the parties. Several of the retirement-aged
PSs who were reappointed to put their respective ministries
in order and may leave in the not-too-distant future. This
will pave the way for a subsequent round of PS appointments.
Discussions are ongoing regarding appointments to head
parastatal corporations and ambassadorial posts. There is no
clear indication when these may be resolved. End Comment
RANNEBERGER

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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