Bad News for Zenawi: Kibaki and Raila unveil coalition team – By Benard Namunane, Daily Nation

April 14th, 2008 Print Print Email Email

President Kibaki Sunday named a 42-member Cabinet equally shared between PNU and ODM and demoted two ministers in the process.

The much awaited announcement of the expanded government gave the country its second Prime Minister in Mr Raila Odinga, paving way for a new four-and- half-year political dispensation. (more…)

President Kibaki Sunday named a 42-member Cabinet equally shared between PNU and ODM and demoted two ministers in the process.

The much awaited announcement of the expanded government gave the country its second Prime Minister in Mr Raila Odinga, paving way for a new four-and- half-year political dispensation.

He created four new ministries in what he described as a decision to give attention areas critical in the economic development and address regions that have been marginalised by previous governments. The President also moved some ministers in the delicately balanced Cabinet to satisfy regional balance.

Seven women secured places in the new team.

Public Service

Millions of Kenyans who were glued to their televisions sets and radios witnessed President Kibaki unveil the much talked about Cabinet at State House at 4.33pm. New Prime Minister Raila Odinga stood on his right hand side with Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka to the left.

The new Cabinet line-up did not include the names of permanent secretaries, indication that the issue of public service appointments has not been resolved.

President Kibaki used the occasion to give his ministers a menu of the tasks ahead of them — reconcile the country, generate wealth and transform the economy.

“Following extensive consultations within the coalition, and taking into consideration the current challenges facing the country as well as the need to ensure regional balance in the leadership of this country, I am announcing the Cabinet of the grand coalition government,” he said during the ceremony that was delayed for 30 minutes.

It took an exclusive retreat at Sagana State Lodge between President Kibaki and the new PM for the deal to be struck.

PNU retained the ministries of Finance, Foreign Affairs, Internal Security, Defence, Energy, and Transport among others. ODM bagged Local Government, Roads, Public Works, National Planning and Vision 2030, Immigration, Agriculture and Public Service among others. PNU has a stake of 17 ministries, ODM 20 while and ODM-Kenya harvested three seats in the largest Cabinet since independence.

The President also named 52 assistant ministers. As expected, Mr Musyoka retained his docket while Mr Odinga was named Premier without a ministry.

However, the Planning ministry to be headed by Butere MP Wycliffe Oparanya and that of Public Service whose holder is Rongo MP Dalmas Otieno, were placed under the Prime Minister’s office.

Two deputy Prime ministers Uhuru Kenyatta (PNU) and Musalia Mudavadi (ODM) were named with high profile ministries. Mr Kenyatta, in addition to his new position, will serve as Trade minister while Mr Mudavadi takes over Local Government.

Hopes that Justice and Constitutional Affairs minister Martha Karua could be named deputy PM were dashed by the announcement.

President Kibaki demoted Mr Wilfred Machage of the East Africa Community ministry together with his Public Service colleague Asman Kamama.

Mr Machage and Mr Kamama were named Roads and Higher Education assistant ministries respectively.

Four new ministries of Northern Kenya and other Arid Lands, Industrialisation, Planning and Vision 2030, and Nairobi Metropolitan Development were created. Wajir East MP Ibrahim Mohamed will hold the Northern Kenya development portfolio, Henry Kosgey (Industrialisation) and Mutula Kilonzo (Nairobi Metropolitan).

Rift Valley emerged with the highest number of ministries at 10, followed by Nyanza, Eastern and Central provinces which got six each, Western (five), Coast and Nairobi (three) and North Eastern Province (two).

President Kibaki kept ministers George Saitoti (Internal Security), Amos Kimunya (Finance), Karua (Justice and Constitutional Affairs), Kiraitu Murungi (Energy), Chirau Mwakwere (Transport), Yusuf Haji (Defence), Moses Wetang’ula (Foreign Affairs), Naomi Shaban (Special Programmes), Sam Ongeri (Education) and Mr Samuel Poghisio’s Information and Communication.

Roads docket

He shifted Mr John Michuki from Roads to Environment; Mr Kenyatta from Local Government to Trade; Dr Noah Wekesa from Science and Technology to Forest and Wildlife and Mr John Munyes from the Ministry of Water to that of Labour.

He brought on board as new ministers Dagoretti MP Beth Mugo (Public Health and Sanitation) and Nyeri Town MP Esther Murugi (Gender and Children’s Affairs).

Mr Odinga ensured that the entire Pentagon team of William Ruto (Agriculture), Najib Balala (Tourism), Joseph Nyaga (Cooperative Development) and Charity Ngilu (Water and Irrigation) were named to the Cabinet. Former head of Public Service Sally Kosgei was also appointed minister in charge of Higher Education and Science and Technology.

Lawyer MP James Orengo took the Lands portfolio while newcomer Hellen Sambili will be in charge of the Ministry of Youths and Sports. Funyula MP Paul Otuoma was named to Fisheries Development, while the Roads docket went to Bomet MP Kipkalya Kones. Westlands MP Fred Gumo is the new Regional Development Authorities minister.

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