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Govt slams reports of Cabinet disagreements

NAIROBI, May 16 – The Government has on Friday dismissed media reports on deliberations of the first Grand Coalition Cabinet meeting, which described the Thursday event as wrought with disagreement.

A statement posted on the Government spokesman Dr Alfred Mutua’s website disowned the reports and read in part: ‘The government takes great exception to speculative and misleading stories appearing in various media outlets on what was discussed in yesterday’s Cabinet meeting’.

Mutua sought to clarify that the issues of the outlawed Mungiki sect and the Anglo Leasing scandal were not on the agenda and were therefore not discussed.

He also stated that the issue of the Grand Coalition was in the agenda but was not discussed due to time constraints.

The Spokesman indicated that only the items highlighted by the Presidential Press Service (PPS) dispatch issued on Thursday were agreed on. He said Cabinet decisions are communicated after every Cabinet meeting from State House by the PPS.

Mutua went on to condemn statements attributed to specific individuals.

“Quotes attributed to what was said and by who in the Cabinet meeting are manufactured and deceitful. Cabinet discussions are secret and there is no public discussion of deliberations in the Cabinet meeting room. Cabinet Ministers swear an oath to keep matters discussed in Cabinet secret unless they are for public consumption,” he said in the statement.

The spokesman called for responsible reporting.

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Details of the Cabinet meeting hit the headlines in the local dailies on Friday with reports of diverse opinions on the main agenda of the day. A statement from the PPS indicated that the meeting prioritised security, food security and the overall development of the country.

The meeting also agreed to establish five Cabinet committees to oversee the realisation of those goals.

"The committees include: the National Security, Finance, Administration and Planning, Infrastructure, Services and Production committees," a brief statement from the PPS had said.

The National Security Committee will be chaired by the President, while the other four committees will be chaired by Prime Minister Raila Odinga with the assistance of the two deputy Prime Ministers; Uhuru Kenyatta and Musalia Mudavadi.

Recently, mixed opinions have been given on whether the government should hold talks with the Mungiki sect as proposed by the Prime Minister, various leaders and some religious organisations.

On the other hand, investigations into the 2003 Anglo Leasing scandal which implicated top government officials have not been finalised. One of the top suspects, Deepak Kamani, however presented himself to the Kenya Anti Corruption Commission (KACC) early this week and was interrogated.

A statement from the KACC revealed that Kamani gave his testimony and that the investigations are ongoing.

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