, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 12 – President Mwai Kibaki was to open a retreat for Ministers and their assistants on Friday morning to discuss a common understanding and approach in implementing the new Constitution.
The President, Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka are expected to address Ministers during the retreat.
“The objective of the retreat, whose theme is ‘Fast tracking the implementation of the Constitution’ is to develop a common understanding and approach to the implementation of the New Constitution,” a statement from the Presidential Press Service stated.
The plane carrying the President and his entourage touched down at Ukunda airstrip shortly before 6pm on Thursday and was received by coastal leaders led by the Provincial Commissioner Ernest Munyi before being entertained by groups of choirs and traditional dancers.
The chairman of the now-defunct Committee of Experts on Constitution Review Nzamba Kitonga will lead a discussion on effecting the new law and highlight its opportunities and challenges.
The Speaker of the National Assembly Kenneth Marende is also scheduled to deliver an address on Friday afternoon highlighting the procedure and process of accountability of ministers and accounting officers to Parliament.
US Ambassador Michael Ranneberger is also scheduled to talk about accountability of Cabinet Secretaries (new title for Ministers) to Parliament and share the American experience, while German Ambassador Margit Hellwig-Boette will discuss the implications of the organisation of national and devolved governments based on her German experience.
The stamen from the Presidential Press Service (PPS) adds: “Other speakers will include Dr Victor Koh who will take the Cabinet members through enforcement of ethics and integrity in the public service basing it on Singapore experience.”
Dr Moses Ikiara of the Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis (KIPPRA) will give a presentation on Economic Development Opportunities offered by the new Constitution.
President Kibaki was chairing a Cabinet meeting at State House Nairobi on Thursday morning ahead of the retreat.
The talks however come at a time when the Cabinet is reeling from corruption allegations that have seen two Ministers vacate office while another is engaged in a spat with her former assistant over graft allegations at the Water Ministry.
More graft allegations still plague several sitting ministers with calls mounting for them to resign pending the outcome of investigations against them.