EAC

Kenyatta retains energy, finance, and transport ministers

-Prior to Odinga's 'inauguration', on 26 January, President Uhuru Kenyatta finalised a major cabinet reshuffle. This confirmed Kenyatta's initial statement on 8 January that the energy, finance, and transport ministers would retain their portfolios at the start of his second term in office.

A newly created mining and petroleum ministry was also separated from the energy ministry, headed by former Turkana county governor John Munyes, who lost the August 2017 county elections on a Jubilee ticket and is notably also a power broker in Turkana.

Munyes's appointment was likely motivated by Kenyatta's desire to expedite development of the Turkana oil field, while reducing the share of revenue earmarked for the local community (from 10% to 5%), in favour of the county government (at 20%), and central government and private oil companies (splitting the remaining 75%).

He will likely provide an important counter-balance to opposition co-ordinated by the Council of Governors chairperson, Josephat Nanok, who also hails from Turkana, and is demanding a minimum 30% share for the county government. The final arrangements will be finalised in the Petroleum (Exploration, Development, and Production) Bill, scheduled for a second reading by parliament in February.

This and other appointments, such as Okur Yattani (an ethnic-Gabra) as labour minister and Monica Juma (a Mikikenda) as foreign minister, are in line with the ruling Jubilee party's strategy of broadening its political alliances to include leaders of historically neutral regions and ethnic constituencies.

These changes also indicate a strategy to block Vice-President William Ruto's promised 2022 election bid, in favour of President Kenyatta eventually proposing a hand-picked Kikuyu successor.

This is highly unlikely to be initiated before 2019, and would be achieved by co-opting support from alternative Kalenjin leaders. Several medium-sized hydropower projects earmarked for construction in the southern Rift Valley (Ruto's stronghold) are now likely to be delayed from late 2018, as new chairpersons are appointed to implement agencies responsible for co-ordinating these.

The streamlining of Kenya's more than 500 parastatal organisations was a key campaign priority for Kenyatta in 2013, but he now faces less opposition to this.