Kenya’s President William Ruto is considering appointing former Vice President Musalia Mudavadi as head of cabinet under a new power structure, people familiar with the matter said.
Musalia Mudavadi, who served as finance minister from 1993 to 1997 and later as vice president for two months in 2002, will be named prime cabinet secretary — the equivalent of a non-executive premier, said the people who asked not to be identified because they’re not authorized to speak to the media. Mudavadi, 61, will be in charge of coordinating and supervising government ministries and state departments, and oversee the implementation of key policies and projects, they said.
Mudavadi has updated his profile on twitter to refer to himself as prime cabinet secretary-designate. He didn’t respond to requests for comment sent by email and by text message. The president’s office didn’t respond to Bloomberg questions about when he would name his cabinet.
Ruto, who was sworn in as president on Sept. 13, will create the position through an executive order as the role doesn’t exist under the Kenyan constitution, the people said. Politically, Mudavadi would rank third behind the president and Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua within the ruling Kenya Kwanza Alliance, one of the people said. By law, the National Assembly’s speaker will still rank behind the vice president.
The chief cabinet secretary’s post will be key in Ruto’s administration, which is facing a litany of problems ranging from how to deal with Kenya’s burgeoning debt and the worst drought in at least four decades. Mudavadi will be expected to champion Ruto’s Bottom-Up economic model, which will channel government resources to industries that can create the most jobs, such as farming.
Mudavadi, who holds a degree in land economics from the University of Nairobi, has previously served in the government as minister for information, transport and communication, as well as local government.
Other people expected to be named to Ruto’s cabinet are party bosses in the ruling Kenya Kwanza coalition including former National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi, former Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua, and former lawmaker Moses Kuria. Two other coalition party principals — Moses Wetangula and Amason Kingi — were elected speakers in the National Assembly and Senate respectively last week.