, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 5 – Mutula Kilonzo was on Monday appointed Minister for Justice, National Cohesion and Constitutional Affairs to replace Martha Karua who quit government last month.
Speaking a few hours after his appointment, the former Nairobi Metropolitan Minister said that he will prioritise implementation of various reforms and stated his commitment to embrace dialogue while discharging his new duties.
He said that he will focus on the implementation of Agenda Item Four of the National Accord to ensure a peaceful country.
“In Agenda Four, I will deal with poverty. On Friday you saw youths having been reduced to throwing stones instead of just listening and making their point known diplomatically,” he said further adding that he will take these challenges very seriously.
Mr Kilonzo stressed the need for Kenyans to use dialogue in resolving their differences.
“Feel free to discuss with me whatever obstacles that stop you from observing the rule of law so that I can challenge the grand coalition to put mechanisms in place to protect you,” he stated.
President Mwai Kibaki has also appointed Njeru Githae the new Minister for Nairobi Metropolitan Development to replace Mr Kilonzo.
Kikuyu MP Lewis Nguyai has been appointed Assistant Minister for Local Government to replace Mr Githae.
The appointments came hours after the President met with Prime Minister Raila Odinga on Monday morning for consultations at the former’s Harambee House office.
A brief statement from the Presidential Press Service said the two principals also discussed the issue of Leader of Government Business in Parliament and chairmanship of the House Business Committee.
Ms Karua quit office last month claiming she was not given a free hand to run her docket.
She accused some unnamed people she described as ‘powerful’ individuals in government for frustrating her reform agenda in the Ministry of Justice.
She was particularly incensed by the appointment of new judges sworn in recently in her absence and without any prior consultations.
Once an influential minister and close ally to President Mwai Kibaki, Ms Karua has turned out to be the fieriest critic of the same regime she helped hold onto power after the then Opposition party Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) claimed it’s victory had been stolen.
With her Narc Kenya party, Ms Karua has publicly announced she will vie for the Presidency in the 2012 General Elections to succeed President Kibaki who is serving his final term in office.