Donors put pressure on Kibaki, Raila to reorganise Cabinet Published on 09/04/2011 Related Stories Okemo and Gichuru Climate change blamed for rise in diseases Human rights commissions oppose merger Policy dualism will ensure food security Budget to be read on Wednesday, June 8 Sound off By Juma Kwayera With the bid to defer the cases against the Ocampo Six having flopped, President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga have come under increased pressure from development partners to reshuffle the Cabinet. Development partners have threatened to withhold budgetary support to force a reshuffle in Government. If the pressure is sustained, President Kibaki could be forced to find a replacement for Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Head of Public Service Francis Muthaura or risk suspension of budgetary support. In what Kenyans have become accustomed to since the formation of the grand coalition, talk of restructuring the Cabinet has triggered friction among key political players. The President has had to postpone the reshuffle several times to avoid disintegration of his party of national unity that is faced with bitter rivalry among its top officials. Donors account for roughly five per cent of the budget financing but their approval of the minister at the helm of the finance docket inspires confidence critical to economic performance. The amount is set to rise as the Government braces for lean times precipitated by the implementation of the new Constitution and economic downturn that precedes a General Election. A policy statement read in Parliament by Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta shortly before he travelled to The Hague shows the Government has laid out Sh950 billion, the lions share of which goes to recurrent expenditure while development programmes will be starved of funding. The minister is expected to unveil the 2011/12 Budget in June. It is against this backdrop that Uhuru said the Government hopes to tap into donor funding to bridge the Budget deficit. A diplomat in Nairobi said donors are reluctant to meet the Minister for Finance and Head of the Civil Service after ICC named them in relation to crimes against humanity. Pressure on Kibaki and Raila heightened following the appearance of Uhuru and Muthaura at The Hague-based International Criminal Court on Friday . Donors led by the United States, Britain and the European Union want the two officials dropped to help rebuild confidence in Government. As the two listened to charges of international crimes against them at The Hague, a source at the US Embassy told The Standard On Sunday that officials at the State Department met in Washington to discuss how to deal with Nairobi in the event the Executive does not act decisively. The source said Nairobi risks punitive indictment by Washington unless it addresses concerns over the retention of the ministers and the senior civil servant facing charges of crimes against humanity. In the past, Washington has invoked travel advisory alerts to its citizens. If other donors take a cue from US foreign policy to withhold funds, then the move could adversely affect direct foreign investments. But the recent experiences in relations between the two governments point to a possibility of the Obama Administration opting for targeted sanctions, which may include the freezing of foreign accounts and property of perceived perpetrators of impunity. In Nairobi, State House remained tight-lipped. Director of the Presidential Press Service Isaya Kabira denied knowledge of any plans to reshuffle the Cabinet. "If there is going to be a reshuffle, I would be glad to communicate the same to you," said Kabira in response to inquiries for details. A highly-placed government source who declined to be named confirmed a comprehensive reshuffle is in the offing, but the Presidents side of the coalition is hesitant to effect changes lest they accelerate the cracks that have developed in his party. "The PM has always wanted some reshuffle done. He believes it would reenergise the government. Lately he has said Kenyans feel slighted and begin to have doubts in the new Constitution when The Hague suspects remain in government. Kibaki has been reluctant. He wants the rebel ODM to remain and keep Raila busy. But Kibaki is also struggling with divisions within PNU between Uhuru, Kalonzo and Saitoti, so he would rather keep the status quo," says the source who did not want to be identified because he is not authorised to speak on behalf of the Government. Uhuru has publicly stated that he will not quit as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance minister unless the President asks him to. Uhuru has publicly stated that he will not quit as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance minister unless the President asks him to. The Director of Communication in Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadis office, Mr Kibisu Kabatesi told The Standard On Sunday the reshuffle was postponed from the second half of last year to provide breathing space for the suspects. "Given what is going on, Kibaki and Raila may be forced to consider the effectiveness of the Cabinet," said Kabatesi in reference to the commencement of The Hague judicial process.