Every other cabinet Kibaki has constituted since 2002 has been grossly unfair in terms of regional distribution. However, things are a significantly different this time round because ODM is expected to nominate worthy individuals whom the president will name to the cabinet. ODM will constitute 50% of the cabinet as well as provide the Prime Ministers and one of the two deputies.
This time round, and for the sake of healing this nation, Kibaki must do some sound mathematics.
In my opinion, the top ten cabinet positions - and indeed the entire public service - should be made regionally representative for all the people of Kenya to feel a sense of belonging in this country.
Related: Democracy Must Work For Every Citizen
The current top-ten political/cabinet seats as they will be are;
- PNU: President & Head of State: Mwai Kibaki (Kikuyu – Central Province)
- ODM-K/PNU: Vice President: Kalonzo Musyoka (Kamba – Eastern Province)
- ODM: Prime Minister & Head of Government: Raila Odinga (Luo – Nyanza Province)
- ODM: Deputy Prime Minister: Musalia Mudavadi – (Luhya - Western)
- PNU: Deputy Prime Minister: (not known) – (not known)
- PNU: Justice & Constitutional Affairs – Martha Wangari Karua (Kikuyu – Central)
- PNU: Finance: Amos Kimunya: (Kikuyu – Central)
- KANU/PNU: Defence: Yusuf Hajji (Somalia) North Eastern
- FORD-K/PNU: Foreign Affairs: Moses Wetangula (Luhya – Western)
- PNU: Internal Security: George Saitoti (Maasai/Kikuyu - Rift Valley/Central)
To begin with, Western Province, in addition to the National Assembly Speaker and the Attorney General already has more than enough. My take is that top public positions should not be monopolised like the way AG Wako and Head of Civil Service Muthaura have done for more than 10 years now. These two should be sent packing at the same time that the cabinet is being constituted. Perhaps Raila and Kibaki should consider appointing a minority to these two positions. In this case, an Indian or Samburu or even a Borana.
It will be a major cock-up if Kibaki were to fall into the hands of Mt. Kenya mafia and appoint the Deputy PM from the GEMA region. It seems obvious that Coast province has not received its due share of the national cake. Infact it is a raw deal. Women are also conspicuously missing from the top ten power arrangement in Kenya.
During Kibaki’s reign, Eastern province has and continues to be over-fed at cabinet level. My suggestion is for Kibaki to replace Kalonzo as VP and appoint a woman from Coast province to the post. Alternatively, he may consider appointing Martha Karua Deputy PM, but then the Justice ministry should be relinquished to ODM.
Kalonzo would be best suited to lead a coalition of opposition parties and be Leadr of Official Opposition in government. If Kalonzo and his ODM-K brigade must be in government, then out of 40 cabinet portfolios, Kibaki must be able to find one for him. I would suggest Water Development, or if environment and natural resources. We must appreciate the important role of the official opposition and that the opposition leads the PAC and PIC committees in the national assembly.
On the ODM side, we know is that Charity Ngilu and Sally Kosgey are heading to cabinet. They may also throw in Millie Odhiambo, or Sofia Abdi Omar, or gender activist Ms Rachel Shebeshwho were recently nominated to parliament on ODM ticket. Interestingly, Raila is already fulfilling part of his vision by sharing positions on a 50/50 basis between men and women. Apart from Martha Karua, who sadly hails from the same province as the president, I have not seen any other woman occupy a power seat in PNU. Dr. Naomi Shaban (Miji Kenda – Coast) has been given a nondescript portfolio and is yet to cut political teeth.
Stop Press 14h00 Local Time: Parliament is about to commence debate on the two critical bills, ie. Constitution of Kenya Ammendment Bill (2008) and the National Accord and Reconcilliation Bill. The president and prime minister designate are expected to attend this session. It is expected today's session will culminate into the creation of Kenya's historic Grand Coalition Government. Updates to follow.