Sacked Kenyan Energy Assistant Minister Charles Keter, left office yesterday terming his removal from the Cabinet as political and engineered by Prime Minister Raila Odinga. The Belgut MP told of how he learnt of his dismissal in Wednesday’s mini Cabinet reshuffle after placing a call to the Office of the President to find out about his fate soon after learning of the reshuffle that was communicated by the Presidential Press Service through a statement to newsrooms.
According to Keter, officials at OP told him that the recommendation for his sacking was made by the PM who is ODM boss and in charge of the party Ministers.“They explained to me that according to the National Accord, it is the Prime Minister who was in charge of ODM ministers so it was him who made that recommendation that I be sacked, but I’m not bitter,” said Keter.
The former Minister spoke moments after packing up his personal belongings from his Nyayo House offices and handing all official documents in his possession to an under secretary in the Ministry. Energy Minister Kiraitu Murungi was not in his office at the moment but was due to meet with Keter later in the day to officially formalize his exit from the ministry.
Keter’s successor, Kipkelion MP Magerer Langat was yet to take up office yesterday.
Keter, a close ally of former Agriculture Minister William Ruto is the only Cabinet official who was fired in the reshuffle that affected seven Ministers and assistant Ministers. Ruto swapped places with his Higher Education counterpart Sally Kosgey while Trade Minister Amos Kimunya will hold brief at the Transport Ministry left vacant by Ali Chirau Mwakwere who lost his Matuga seat through a court petition.
The reshuffle also saw new entrants into the Cabinet with North Mugirango MP Wilfred Ombui being appointed as the new National Heritage assistant minister, that fell vacant after it’s previous occupant, Joel Onyancha failed to recapture his Bomachoge seat. Kaloleni MP Kazungu Kambi will deputize Medical services Minister Prof Anyang’ Nyong’o in the place of Garsen MP Danson Mungatana who resigned last year.
Yesterday, an evidently dejected Keter put up a brave face saying it was the happiest day of his life knowing that he was exiting the Ministry having served Kenyans to the best of his abilities and that his removal was not because of non-performance. “It is a happy day for me because I was given the opportunity to serve Kenyans, of which I exercised my duties well,” he said.Added Keter: “My removal was political but I have no hard feelings against the Prime Minister.”
He said what had befallen him was largely to do with his political stand having been one of the MPs from the Rift Valley region who are behind Ruto in the No camp against the proposed new constitution.The MP has also been at loggerheads with the Prime Minister over his stand on the Mau forest evictions. He said at 40 years of age, he was still young and hopes to use his extra time in serving his Belgut constituents and termed this latest development in his political career as a challenge that will harden him. “The true measure of one’s success is not the position he has reached but the obstacles he has overcome. This is one such challenge and that is why my removal does not worry me,” said Keter.
He also sought to dispel the notion that he was sacrificed because of his association with Ruto saying he was no one’s sycophant and that he would continue holding his position on the issues that had put him on a collision path with his party boss.
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