A widely circulated list of eight names purportedly appointed to an Economic Recovery Council by President Uhuru Kenyatta spread across messaging and social media platforms like wildfire on Thursday, May 21.
According to the list, the team would steer Kenya’s economic recovery plan in the post-Covid-19 period and would be led by Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga.
Other names on the list included Isaac Ruto, whose Chama Cha Mashinani (CCM) party recently announced plans to enter into a coalition agreement with the Jubilee Party, and United Nations Council on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi.
Questioned on the list, State House Spokesperson Kanze Dena, however, made it clear that it was fake.
Other than Raila, Ruto and Kituyi, other names on the list were; former MP Billow Kerrow, Dr. Sabdiyo Dibo Bushina, Dr. Martin O Otieno, Eddie Njoroge and Terry Rhyan.
Circulation of the list came against the backdrop of reports that Raila’s formal entry into the Jubilee administration in an official role was imminent.
Comments from Jubilee leaders including Vice-Chairman David Murathe and Kirinyaga Governor Ann Waiguru, who have separately made it clear that the country needed a government of national unity in the aftermath of Covid-19, have only served to fuel the theory.
Reports had indicated that senior opposition leaders were set to secure key positions in a new-look cabinet to be re-structured by the President.
At the center of it all was Raila, who was said to be anticipating a position to lead an economic recovery council, with preparations allegedly underway at the President’s Harambee House office to create fitting office space.
Isaac Ruto, on the other hand, was said to have accepted to have CCM participate in the council as part of his party’s larger agreement with Jubilee announced on Thursday, May 14.
Ministries that would report to Raila under the alleged plan include Tourism, Treasury, Agriculture and Devolution, with the council to co-ordinate activities meant to drive economic growth and job creation.
Uhuru’s move to engage leaders of opposition parties has been seen by pundits as part of a plan to further sideline Deputy President William Ruto.