President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday fired his Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri in a cabinet reshuffle that saw him bring in former Nyeri Senator Mutahi Kagwe into the cabinet as Health CS while promoting Trade and Industrialisation PS Betty Maina to the apex of the same ministry.
While a sizeable section of Kenyans has hailed Uhuru for the 'bold' move, the cost that is likely to come with it will be undoubtedly high as the President and his cabal of advisers will sooner or later come to realize.
Below we enumerate why this is not a farfetched possibility.
1. The prevailing "anti- Uhuru" political atmosphere in Uhuru's backyard
Even as Uhuru fired Kiunjuri who was among few others being taunted as his likely successor as Kikuyu kingpin, there is no doubt he was aware irrespective of who he was going to replace him with, there was going to be a form of backlash with unprecedented consequences to the President's political future.
The prevailing political atmosphere in Mt Kenya, truth be told, is widely anti-Uhuru mainly because of his perceived cold relationship with his deputy, William Ruto who a sizeable region's voters seem to support. As such, sacking Kiunjuri who has been seen to be a close Ruto associate, is a spat on the face of some electorates in the region.
2. Anticipated BBI referendum
The BBI debate in Central Kenya has as many supporters as it has detractors. Wary of this political situation in his backyard, Uhuru ought to have known better that firing Kiunjuri at such a critical moment can only serve to widen this gap as opposed to consolidating it.
The probability is that if Ruto won't be supporting the BBI referendum as he has indicated so far, Kiunjuri will follow suit which shall provide him with an opportunity to shave his former boss without water.
3. Kiunjuri likely to seek political revenge
Uhuru's firing of Kiunjuri might not achieve the desired results if he does not 'crush' him completely as Robert Greene notes in his widely acclaimed book '48 Laws of Power'.
"If one ember is left alight, no matter how dimly it smoulders, a fire will eventually break out. More is lost through stopping halfway than through total annihilation: The enemy will recover and will seek revenge. Crush him, not only in body but in spirit," Greene writes in parts.
As it is now, Uhuru doesn't seem ready or even able to 'crush' Kiunjuri beyond firing, something that will likely boomerang on him badly in the near political future.