Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Cabinet: Finance Docket is Reserved!
Let’s face it. The country is being held hostage by vested interests in the Kibaki succession. In failing to fill vacant cabinet posts, the very reasons attributed to the post election violence by Kriegler and Waki are being put into play!
Long after the Bomet and Sotik by-elections, and Kimunya’s ouster, the ODM was ready to refill its dockets soon after the Mps-elect were sworn in, but the cabinet reshuffle is being held back by fierce infighting in the PNU camp. The heat arising out of the secret envelope of the Waki report is not relenting and the President’s indecisiveness is not helping matters either.
The country continues to go without a sworn-in Finance Minister who holds the constitutional mandate to sign certain bills, bilateral agreements and gazette notices. The current holder of the post, John Michuki, also doubling as Environment Minister, is only acting capacity and therefore unqualified to discharge duties of a finance minister effectively.
Reports are emerging that John Michuki has declined an offer to permanently take up the Finance position because the former holder Amos Kimunya has been declared innocent by the Commission of Enquiry set up by the president to investigate him. Never mind that, unlike other commission reports so far compiled this year, the Kimunya dossier is known only to the President, the commissioners themselves and a few individuals around state house, plus of course friendly pressmen at Royal Media and Nation Media. Never mind also that a parliamentary committee has already declared Kimunya as unfit to hold a cabinet position.
Perhaps most worrying, is that it is apparent that the Finance docket has been reserved and will only go to individual(s) whose origins are not just PNU coalition but also from a certain part of Kenya. Did the president not pledge to heed the advise in the Waki and Kriegler reports? The names being dropped by PNU-friendly media have mentioned MPs sharing more than one commonality with the President. Even during Moi’s dictatorial regime, there was never a finance minister who hailed from Moi’s backyard for a whole 24 years, 10 of those in multi-party politics. Phew!
Although there are numerous individuals within the currently full-capacity National Assembly who are more than qualified and can be appointed Finance Minister, it is obvious that they are technically disqualified because they do not share any commonality with the president and are therefore are unfit to hold the finance docket.
Meanwhile, the country continues to be served by acting ministers, contrary to the constitution and contrary to the NARA accord. All because, the kitchen cabinet is working on a Kimunya rehabilitation plan and the president is seemingly not in full control of an increasingly hostile parliament.
Another spanner has been thrown into the succession works by a stubborn Martha Karua. Being the person who single-handedly saved the PNU coalition during the inauguration of the tenth parliament, she is herself pushing for an end to what she calls politics of anointment and has challenged those interested in the presidency to face her in the field, instead of running to Kibaki because they hope to be declared his successor.
Further to this is that the fiercely independent Justice minister is edging closer to ODM this is causing panic within the PNU wing of government given that most of the reform agenda lies in her docket. The only solution it would appear is to transfer her to another less glamorous ministry or sack her altogether but, just like in the finance docket, PNU are desperately short of qualified individuals to take up this critical docket. Quite surprising considering it is now a grand coalition with a full parliament to choose from.
My suggestion: Appoint Prof. Anyang Nyongo as Finance Minister, transfer Prof. Ongeri to the health docket and promote Dr. Mwiria as Education minister. Kazi kwisha.