I hereby reproduce the two statements he has made today.
Let me take this early opportunity to say that I HAVE NOT changed my position one inch. I will post a more detailed article later. Am still in shock.
As you are aware, President Kibaki this morning launched the Safaricom IPO. I want to state that despite our concerns about this offering, we want to encourage ordinary Kenyans to take advantage of this offering.
I discussed with President Kibaki in our meeting the contentious issues about this sale that we have raised publicly, and I am hopeful we will be able resolve them.
In the meantime, there are hundreds of thousands of ordinary Kenyans who are ready to buy Safaricom shares, and we do not wish to discourage them. We believe the shares are under-priced, and therefore their prices seem likely to rise.
But what we have strenuously objected to is that more than one third of these shares have been reserved for “foreign” investors, many of whom will no doubt turn out to be Kenyans with overseas funds.
This blue chip company was supported and built by the hard earned money of our taxpayers, and Kenyans should therefore be given the first opportunity to buy as many of them as they wish to. In addition, real efforts should be made to make these purchases more accessible by Kenyans in all the regions and in all walks of life.
There is also the continuing issue of the Safaricom shares worth five billion shillings owned by MOBITELEA, the identity of whose owners continue to be kept secret and who acquired the shares in mysterious circumstances and not as a “true investment.” They should not be allowed to unjustly enrich themselves by selling these shares as part of the share offering. It is imperative that authorities “ring fence” Mobitelea’s holdings so that they are not secretly offloaded now.
In conclusion, let me encourage as many Kenyans as possible to fully participate in this offering.
As spelled out in the National Accord and Reconciliation Act 2008, President Kibaki and I held our second meeting today to further discuss the formation of a Cabinet. This Act specifies, in Section 4 (3), that “the composition of the coalition government shall at all times reflect the relative parliamentary strength of the respective parties and shall at all times take into account the principle of portfolio balance.”
In addition to this provision, we also revisited the issues of the size of the cabinet and the allocation of portfolios to ODM and PNU. But we have been unable to reach a consensus so far.
On Cabinet size, PNU continues to prefer 44 ministries. Such a bloated cabinet, I am afraid, is not good for the country. We would like to see a lean cabinet, of no more than 34 ministries, since the President had already appointed 17 ministers. A lean cabinet is necessary not only because we need to contain public expenditure at a time when there is such abject poverty and deprivation among our people, but also because a leaner cabinet can more efficiently deliver on the services and policies that Kenyans need.
As discussions continue, we must keep in mind that the public would like to see us eliminate wasteful public expenditures, and a bloated cabinet would portray us as disconnected from the mood of the country and set a bad example for curtailing other wastefulness. .
The other key outstanding issue is portfolio balance. On that issue as well, no consensus has been reached, with the other side preferring to retain the most important ministries. This is contrary to the cardinal principle of power sharing that is at the heart of the new arrangements.
In signing the Agreement of Principles that was part of the Act, both President Kibaki and I agreed that “we were stepping forward together, as political leaders, to overcome the current crisis and to set the country on a new path. As partners in a new coalition government, we commit ourselves to work together in good faith as true partners, through constant consultations and willingness to compromise.”
This is the spirit we must resurrect as we continue our discussions.
What The Kroll report says about the Mobitelea ownership