NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 22 – The Cabinet was expected to meet for the first time this year on Thursday at a time when top government officials found themselves muddied by embarrassing graft scandals and the country faced a national emergency.
A famine threatening the lives of 10 million Kenyans, an ongoing teachers strike crippling learning, as well as maize and fuel scandals were just some of the issues facing the Grand Coalition government.
Some Cabinet Ministers including Martha Karua have previously admitted that the government has failed to fight corruption.
A number of the ministers themselves, assistant ministers and prominent businessmen are under the magnifying glass over their apparent involvement in the maize and fuel scams, which run into several billions of shillings.
There have also been disagreements between Cabinet colleagues in recent weeks, which led to the creation of a panel that will resolve crises in the coalition government.
A tribunal to try post election violence suspects, the constitution review process and the workings of a new election and boundaries disputes panel, were also on the table.
The 40 Ministers, who last met in early December, also converge at a time when their political colleagues questioned whether it was indeed necessary to have such a large number of ministers running the country’s affairs.
During the December 11 Cabinet meeting, the Ministers approved the policy, legal and institutional framework for Public Private Partnerships (PPP) in the country. The framework provides for modalities under which the private sector can undertake, for a specified period of time, to provide a service or good for the benefit of the public.
Under the PPP model, Kenya will be able to attract private sector investments in financing infrastructure projects such as water, energy, roads and other transport services. Through PPPs, the country can leverage public sector financial resources with private sector investments.
These will especially be critical for the financing of flagship projects under Vision 2030.
Under the framework, the private sector can enter into a management contract, a lease, a concession or a build-own-operate and transfer agreement with the government.
Meeting under the chairmanship of President Mwai Kibaki at State House Nairobi, the Cabinet further approved the establishment of a PPP steering committee to oversee the process.