Monday, April 28, 2008
PNU Mandarins ‘STUNNED’ by US Support to PM's Office
STUNNED, STUNNING, STUNS.
1. To daze or render senseless, by or as if by a blow.
2. To overwhelm or daze with a loud noise.
3. To stupefy, as with the emotional impact of an experience; astound.
PNU mandarins are reportedly ‘STUNNED’ by the announcement that the US government has pledged US$500,000 (Sh30.5 million) direct funding to sustain the development and smooth running of the newly created Prime Minister’s office. What is raising eyebrows is that the funds will be channeled directly to the PM's office and not via Treasury (Ministry of Finance).
One such mandarin is Kalonzo Musyoka’s sidekick and newly appointed Assistant Minister of Defence, Hon David Musila. He is quoted by the VOA accusing the government of US of behaving as if there are two governments in Kenya. You can read/listen to his remarks here.
While making the announcement, US ambassador to Kenya Michael Ranneberger was not sitting at Foreign Affairs Minister Wetangula’s office. He was infact making the politically unpalatable remarks in an interview with a local newspaper which quotes him saying that his country is putting "a lot of hope" in the PM’s office because of the role the Constitution has assigned it to co-ordinate and supervise government ministries.
"In a government this large, the role of the Prime Minister is going to be critical. We will work very closely with the Prime Minister in co-ordinating and supervising the Government," the ambassador said.
He added: "We recognise that critical role, and that is why we are ready to give money to strengthen the office."
To add insult to injury, the Ambassador also announced that the US had invited Prime Minister Raila Odinga to Washington "at a mutually convenient date" to be hosted by the State Department and meet with Secretary of State, Condoleeza Rice. He was cagey whether the visit would include a meeting at White House with President George Bush. Raila, Ranneberger added, was being invited to the US because of the importance Washington attaches to his role as the one "constitutionally required to supervise and co-ordinate the activities of government". Pressed to explain why the invitation was not extended to Mwai Kibaki as Head of State, the ambassador said he remained in close touch with Kibaki, adding that the President had been on a state visit to the US before.
"We are inviting the PM so that we can review assistance here and show that we can co-ordinate closely. The US has such a large partnership with Kenya and we want to ensure it is properly co-ordinated," he elaborated.
Following the desputed elections in December, President Kibaki sent a number of envoys to foreign countries in an attempt to gain legitimacy. President Kibaki appointed Uhuru Kenyatta, Raphael Tuju, George Saitoti and Moses Wetangula as special envoys to brief world leaders on the political crisis in the country caused by his disputed election as president. Government spokesman Alfred Mutua said yesterday the envoys would visit several African states and brief their heads of state about “the genuine situation in the country,” instead of relying on the international media. Uhuru Kenyatta was reportedly kept waiting and never given audience by Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, who went on to support Anan’s efforts in creating a power sharing deal. It is unclear whether the other envoys made any headway because only one or two world leaders congratulated Kibaki on his "re-election". Bloggers here will also remember that Kalonzo Musyoka, as newly appointed VP, made whistle-stop tours in UK and USA in a FUTILE effort to market the Kenya Government. This was long before the National Accord had been signed.
Surprisingly, there has not been any official statement by Hon. Wetangula or Dr. Mutua on this new development regarding accredited envoys directly funding the PM.