Nairobi - Kenya's new president Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday
named defence, tourism and other key ministers to a slimmed down cabinet,
brushing off concerns that most appointees hail from the same tribe as him and
Kenyatta, one of Africa's richest men, won March 4 polls
which while marred by problems, were largely peaceful as the east African
nation moved on from the ethnic killings and widespread violence that followed
the 2007 election.
In a press conference he announced the appointment of
another 12 members to his cabinet which will number 18, less than half the
number of ministers in the 44-strong former cabinet.
As defence minister he picked lawyer and diplomat Raychelle
Omamo, a former ambassador to France, Portugal and Serbia.
Charity Ngilu and Najib Balala, both career politicians and
allies of Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto, were named to the lands and
mining ministries respectively.
Also named were engineer Michael Kamau for transport,
economist Phyllis Chepkoskey Kandie for tourism and Davis Chirchir for energy
Answering questions of regional balance in government since
a majority of those appointed come from Kenyatta's Kikuyu and Ruto's Kalenjin
tribes, Kenyatta said: "We have taken great care of reaching all corners
of the country but we do not have the luxury of a cabinet as large as the
On Tuesday he appointed ministers in charge of finance,
foreign affairs, information and health.
The nominees will be vetted by a committee comprised of the
speaker and members of parliament from both the majority and minority parties.
However, Kenyatta's coalition holds a majority in the vetting committee.