, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 29 – It was the week that saw heightened activity across the country as Kenyans anticipated the first ever visit by Pope Francis to Africa which started with the Capital Nairobi.
But lost within the drama and the hype was the long awaited Cabinet reshuffle by President Uhuru Kenyatta which saw some new faces nominated to positions within cabinet which had been left vacant after those who held the positions were suspended due corruption related offenses.
Several MPs have lauded President Uhuru Kenyatta’s newly reconstituted Cabinet as balanced and one to steer development but for Mukurweini MP Kabando wa Kabando it was more of a personal victory for him and two other colleagues who had questioned the integrity of certain Cabinet Secretaries led by Ann Waiguru and called on the President to sack them.
“I want to laud him for sacrificing many external, extraneous and peripheral interests to benchmark his Cabinet on zero-tolerance on corruption,” he stated.
He said the move by the President to sack all those implicated in corruption was a ‘strong statement’ that irrespective of ones perceived political indispensability; Kenya belonged to a shareholder whose demands needed to be met.
He singled out himself, Kieni MP Kanini Kega and Nyeri Town MP Esther Murugi who have in past few weeks urged the President to ‘crack the whip’ on anyone maligning the credibility of the Jubilee government as being the Presidents ‘true friends’ accusing those of speaking the loudest and insulting their colleagues of being ‘dishonest’.
The three had been branded as ‘pariahs’ bent on ‘embarrassing’ the President.
“The President is listening to his foot soldiers, he has his ears on the ground. Those of us who have been talking loudly out there and also speak to him directly have been vindicated,” he added.
He reminded his colleagues in Jubilee that they should not lie to the President all is well when it is not, he urged them to gather courage and tell the President when he is wrong since they were his ears on the ground.
“As members of Parliament, irrespective of the party that brings you to parliament, irrespective of the coalition and irrespective of your ethnicity, you have an important role of oversight,” he pointed out.
He lashed out at the opposition for claiming ‘victory’ over the re-modelling of Cabinet saying the President does not need them to set his agenda for him.
His sentiments were reiterated by Tiaty MP Asman Kamama who said the new team represented the face of Kenya and would steer the country to the next phase of development.
He said the appointment of Dan Kazungu proved to the people the North Coast that they were part of government which is key in attracting support from the region ahead of the 2017 election.
He further dismissed statements by a section of the opposition that they had pushed the President to re-organize Cabinet saying the opposition had a right to say anything even when it was not the case.
“I have been in opposition and you can say anything…they can say they are pushing the President but we know the President did it at his own time,” said Kamama.
The newly appointed Cabinet secretaries and Principal Secretaries are expected to be vetted by the Committee on Appointments and the respective departmental committees next week before Parliament breaks for the Christmas holiday.