|Seven women were Sunday appointed to the grand coalition Cabinet, making it the highest number ever in the country’s history.
The appointments, made by President Kibaki, were close to the Government’s promise that 30 per cent of all public appointments and elective positions will be reserved for women.
The Party of National Unity nominated four of its female members to the Cabinet while ODM and its affiliates gave the rest.
Justice and Constitutional Affairs minister Martha Karua retained her docket but now has more responsibilities – National Cohesion.
Ms Karua, the Gichugu MP, had widely been tipped to become the Deputy Prime Minister.
Taveta MP Dr Naomi Shabani also retained her Special Programmes docket. She was appointed early this year, when President Kibaki named his half Government.
And Nyeri Town MP Esther Murugi Mathenge was appointed, for the first time, minister for Gender and Children Affairs.
Also to make it to the new Cabinet was Dagoretti MP Beth Mugo, who has for a long time held assistant ministerial portfolios including that of Education in the Narc government.
Kitui Central MP Mrs Charity Ngilu also made it back to the Cabinet following her appointment to the Ministry of Water and Irrigation.
She replaced Mr John Munyes, who was moved to the Ministry of Labour. Mrs Ngilu, during the run-up to last year’s General Elections, was sacked by the President from the post of minister for Health after she switched her allegiance to ODM leader Mr Raila Odinga.
Another surprise inclusion to the Cabinet was United Democratic Party’s Dr Hellen Jepkemoi Sambili, who was appointed the minister for Youth and Sports. She is the MP for Mogotio. UDP is affiliated to the Orange Democratic Movement party.
Also appointed by President Kibaki was Aldai MP and former head of the Public Service Dr Sally Kosgei. She becomes the new minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology.
Dr Kosgei is a member of the National Dialogue and Reconciliation team charged with seeking a solution to the current political impasse facing the country.
Several women were also appointed to the assistant minister’s position.
They include Mrs Lorna Laboso, the Sotik MP, who is the assistant minister in the Office of the Vice President in charge of Home Affairs.
Mrs Elizabeth Ongoro, the Kasarani MP, was appointed to the Ministry of Nairobi Metropolitan Development as assistant minister. Runyenjes MP Ms Cecily Mbarire was appointed assistant minister in the Ministry of Tourism. She has also served in the Ministry of Transport in the same capacity.
Former Immigration minister and Marakwet East MP Mrs Linah Jebii Kilimo was appointed Cooperatives assistant minister, while Bishop Margaret Wanjiru, the Starehe MP, was appointed assistant minister in the Ministry of Housing.
Kathiani MP Wavinya Ndeti is the new assistant minister for Youth and Sports.