, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 14 – President Mwai Kibaki has now contradicted a suspension order for Ministers Sam Ongeri and William Ruto, saying they will remain in office.
In a statement sent to newsrooms by the Presidential Press Services (PPS) on Sunday evening, the President stated that no consultations took place between him and Prime Minister Raila Odinga on the matter.
Mr Odinga had ordered the suspensions of Mr Ruto and Mr Ongeri for three months, to facilitate a probe into the maize and free primary education scandals, in which the two ministers have been implicated.
Below is the full statement sent by PPS:
"The basis of appointment, suspension and removal of a Minister under the Coalition Government as per the Constitution of the Republic of Kenya, the National Accord and Reconciliation Act and the Agreement on the Principles of Partnership of the Coalition government is full consultation and concurrence between the President and the Prime Minister.
There has been no consultation between H.E. the President and the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister on the suspension of Hon. William Ruto, Minister for Agriculture and Hon. Prof. Sam Ongeri, Minister for Education, as announced by the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister today at a Press Conference.
Furthermore, the legal provisions on which the Prime Minister acted, do NOT confer him the authority to cause a minister to vacate his or her office.
According to Section 16 (3)a of the Constitution, the Office of a Minister can only become vacant if the President so directs.
Section 4 (5) of the National Accord and Reconciliation Act clearly states:
“The removal of any minister nominated by a political party of the coalition shall be made only after prior consultation and concurrence in writing with the leader of the party.”
Therefore constitutionally, the two ministers remain in office.
This position should not be interpreted in any way as undermining the ongoing war against corruption. The war against corruption will be successfully fought when we do so in accordance with the constitution and the due process of law."