NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 24 – President Mwai Kibaki has lashed out at Cabinet Ministers for leaking Cabinet secrets.
According to sources, the Head of State used Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting to impress upon the Ministers that they ought to maintain secrecy on matters discussed amongst them.
The move comes a week after media reported a fierce exchange of words in the Cabinet between Ministers Martha Karua, William Ruto and Kiraitu Murungi over corruption scandals.
Also during Tuesday’s meeting, the Cabinet directed that maize imports and marketing be liberalised with immediate effect.
A statement from the Presidential Press Service said that the move follows a review of the food situation in the country.
“The cabinet also agreed that the government should intervene through targeted food subsidy schemes covering areas and persons most affected by the current famine,” the statement read.
“The subsidy scheme will include school feeding programs, targeted rural and urban poor, and other vulnerable groups,” it added.
The Ministers further agreed to authorise the sale of houses owned by 33 local authorities and developed by the National Housing Corporation (NHC).
President Kibaki chaired the convergence, where the Cabinet noted that the sale of the houses would enable the councils clear debts amounting to Sh2.3 billion shillings owed to the NHC.
“The houses will be sold to tenants and funds raised by NHC should be used to re-invest in new housing schemes,” said the Press Service.
The Cabinet also approved two youth empowerment programmes. The first programme is an emergency youth employment programme under the Kazi kwa Vijana scheme, aimed at job creation and poverty reduction.
The main focus for this will be the construction of rural access roads, water harvesting, borehole construction, small irrigation schemes, and tree planting among other things.
In the urban areas, the programme will focus on slum upgrading, construction of foot bridges, public toilets, water kiosks, drainage and garbage management.
The Cabinet also approved a medium-term programme covering the expansion of intake and training at the National Youth Service (NYS). The envisaged plan is that the NYS be able to have a total intake of 15,000 recruits.
The Minister for Finance was instructed to rationalise budgets for the two programmes, which are estimated to cost Sh23 billion and are to start immediately.