Kenya’s Kenyatta Names His First Four Cabinet Secretaries

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta made his first nominations to Cabinet since assuming office this month and recommended Finance Ministry official Henry Rotich to lead the National Treasury.

Kenyatta’s appointments, which require the approval of lawmakers, are the first under a 2010 constitution which removed a requirement that Cabinet members must be elected legislators. The remaining 14 Cabinet nominations will be made shortly, he told reporters today in the capital, Nairobi, without providing a timeframe.

“When we conclude this process, we will put in place a government that can deliver,” Kenyatta said.

Rotich, 44, has been the head of macroeconomics at the Treasury since 2006 and helped prepare national budgets, a task Kenyatta oversaw as Finance Minister before his election to the presidency. Rotich worked for the Central Bank of Kenya starting in 1994 and also served with the International Monetary Fund, Kenyatta said.

Kenyatta pledged to create a Cabinet staffed by professionals in their respective spheres instead of political appointees as had largely been the case under the previous system requiring that ministers be members of parliament.

Technocrats Nominated

The son of the nation’s first president, Jomo Kenyatta, won the March 4 election and withstood a court challenge by runner-up and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga. Kenyatta on April 9 became the fourth president of Kenya, East Africa’s largest economy.

NIC Bank Ltd. Group Managing Director James Macharia was nominated to lead the Health Ministry. A career banker and accountant, he previously was managing director of the African Banking Corp. and worked with Standard Chartered Plc.

Kenyatta recommended United Nations Assistant Secretary-General and UN Environment Programme Deputy Executive Director Amina Mohamed to head the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Mohamed, a lawyer, diplomat and former permanent secretary to the Justice Ministry, was Kenya’s candidate to lead the World Trade Organisation until her elimination this month.

Fred Okengo Matiani, a professor who has worked with the World Bank and UN Development Programme, was nominated to lead the Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology.

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