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Why these 3 CSs risk losing their jobs

Okilipa Xaviour
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President Uhuru Kenyatta chairs his first cabinet meeting in 2019. [Source/ PSCU]

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday, January 31, read the riot act to members of his cabinet engaging in politics at the expense of service delivery.

Speaking when he made a stopover in Kitengela, the Head of State said underperforming and corrupt Cabinet Secretaries risk losing their jobs, adding that there are many Kenyan youths who qualify for the positions but have no jobs.

"Tell those who come to you politicking that you don't need politics. Tell them you need water, roads and education for your children. Tell them to stop their corrupt ways, and tell them not to go around dividing Kenyans along tribal lines," said Uhuru.

Based on the President's warning, these three Cabinet Secretaries from Mt Kenya risk losing their jobs due to the corruption scandals and cases of lax that have been witnessed in their respective ministries.

1. Sicily Kariuki

The Cabinet Secretary has been hit with corruption scandals both at the Health Ministry and during her tenure as Public Service CS. 

In March 2018, Kariuki survived impeachment after she was accused of abuse of office following her move to suspend the then Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) CEO Lily Koros after the hospital performed brain surgery on the wrong patient.

In June 2018, Five MPs demanded that the CS be made to step aside over the loss of Sh9 billion at the National Youth Service (NYS). Kariuki was the CS for Public Service when the suspicious payments were made.

In November, last year, a parliamentary watchdog committee called for investigations into Sh2.1 billion that was wired to the National Cereals and Produce Board to purchase subsidised fertiliser for farmers between the period 2014-15 when Kariuki was the Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture.

In the same month, the CS was summoned by the Senate over the Sh38 billion medical equipment leasing scheme

2. Mwangi Kiunjuri

The Agriculture Cabinet Secretary has been severally accused by farmers of undermining their hard work.

In May last year, Kiunjuri refused to resign over the Sh740 million scandal that hit the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPD), arguing that the ministry didn't lose any money.  

In October 2018, President Uhuru Kenyatta publicly scolded Kiunjuri over irregular payments made to maize cartels through NCPD.

"I promise you...and I swear before God, you try that again and you'll see what is going to happen to you. We don't want these jokes anymore," said Uhuru.

3.James Macharia

During his tenure as Health CS, Macharia was caught up in the Sh36 billion health equipment scandal which he defended by arguing it was demand-driven. The CS was put on the spot for buying medical equipment on behalf of county governments yet health was a devolved function. 

Macharia has also been accused of laxity following the increased cases of road carnages witnessed in the country. His Interior counterpart Fred Matiang'i was forced to intervene by implementing the Michuki rules in a bid to restore sanity on the roads.

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