NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 18 – President Mwai Kibaki has ordered all Ministers and Assistant Ministers who were recently elected into political office to quit the Cabinet immediately.
In a circular sent to them by Secretary to the Cabinet Francis Kimemia, the President says the law doesn’t allow a person to hold two State Offices and it would therefore be prudent for the Ministers to vacate their Cabinet seats before taking oath for their new offices.
Kimemia says the President plans to convene the new houses of Parliament on Thursday, March 28 in accordance with the Constitution which says a new House shall sit not more than 30 days after the General Election.
“On the first day of the sitting, the first Order of Business will be Swearing-in of members and election of the Speaker of the National Assembly and the Speaker of the Senate,” Kimemia’s circular reads.
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission gazetted all elected leaders on March 12 as required by law.
“In essence, this formalises the appointment into the elective offices save for the swearing-in,” advises Kimemia.
“At the advice of the Hon. Speaker and the Attorney General, His Excellency the President has, therefore, directed that all Ministers and Assistant Ministers who were elected during the recent General Election to the positions of Senators, Governors, Members of the National Assembly or Women Representatives should resign, with immediate effect, so as to qualify to be sworn in by the Clerk of the National Assembly,” the circular explains.
Ministers and Assistant Ministers who did not compete or qualify for elective posts will remain in government, until the swearing-in of the President and appointment of the new Cabinet Secretaries.
Kimemia has also cautioned the Ministers that the Constitution outlaws any appointments or dismissals of public officers during the transition period between the date of the elections and when a new government assumes office.
“Consequently, all appointments effected after the 4th March, 2013 are illegal and, therefore, null and void. The appointees and affected State Corporations should be notified accordingly.”
Under the Constitution, President Mwai Kibaki is still in office until the dispute filed by Raila Odinga at the Supreme Court is dispensed with and a new president is sworn in.
He, therefore, has the powers to convene the new Houses of Parliament – the National Assembly and the Senate.