Kenya Cabinet meeting called off

February 16, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 16 – A Cabinet meeting which had been scheduled for Thursday, was cancelled on Tuesday afternoon as the political crisis facing the coalition continued unabated.

A letter from the Head of Public Service and Secretary to the Cabinet Francis Muthaura said ministers would be told of the new date in due course.

The development came shortly after the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) threatened to boycott Cabinet meetings following the rifts between President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga and their supporters.

Addressing journalists at his Ardhi House Office, Lands Minister James Orengo said the wrangles pitting the two coalition partners have to be resolved to stop undermining either of them.

“ODM may not feel comfortable attending any Cabinet meetings until that matter is resolved because an authority under the Constitution who is responsible for appointing ministers has made a decision which his partner in the Constitution is countermanding,” Mr Orengo said.

Mr Orengo was quick to fault the President for what he termed as “going back on the National Accord that facilitated the formation of the grand coalition government”, and supports the participation of Chief mediator Koffi Annan to help resolve the issue.

“If he wanted to create a Prime Minister as a flower girl at a wedding ceremony then he should have said so at the beginning,” he said adding both camps had to exhibit power-sharing as stipulated in the Accord.

However, not all ODM ministers are likely to take the remarks by the lands minister to heart.

Agriculture minister William Ruto who on Monday accused the Prime Minister for political malice, is one minister not expected to follow through with the boycott should it come to fruition.

Another could be Tourism Minister Najib Balala who is a close ally of Mr Ruto.

On Sunday, Prime Minster Odinga suspended Mr Ruto and Education Minister Prof Sam Ongeri for three months, to pave way for investigations for corruption allegations in their ministries. The President however revoked that suspension shortly thereafter.


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