Kenya parties agree power-sharing deal after pressure from Annan


JF-Expert Member
Feb 11, 2007
Kenya parties agree power-sharing deal after pressure from Annan

· 40-member cabinet to be announced on Sunday

· Critics say new ministries could cost £400m a year

Xan Rice in Nairobi
The Guardian, Friday
April 4 2008

Kenya's political leaders agreed on a power-sharing cabinet yesterday after criticism from the former UN secretary general Kofi Annan for failing to implement the peace deal he brokered in February.

President Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga, leader of the opposition Orange Democratic Movement, said that an enlarged 40-member cabinet would be announced on Sunday. But relief at the breakthrough was tempered by criticism from civil society groups, who said the six new ministries could cost the country hundreds of millions of pounds a year.

Wrangling over the division of cabinet posts - a key component of Annan's peace agreement - exposed the fragility of the accord between Odinga and Kibaki, whose controversial election win set off protests and ethnic violence that claimed more than 1,200 lives. The delay in forming a government also caused deep resentment among ordinary Kenyans. More than 100,000 displaced people are still in temporary camps, without the means or the security guarantee to return home.

In a statement Kibaki said: "Both parties noted that the long consultations were necessary to enable there to be an agreement that is amicable and good for the country."

Under pressure from his allies in smaller parties to reward them with top posts, Kibaki had initially proposed having 44 ministries - nearly twice the size of the 23-strong cabinet he appointed after his election in 2002, and six more than when his term expired last year. As part of yesterday's agreement Kibaki will appoint the defence and foreign affairs ministers, but who will get the finance, interior and local government posts is still not known.

Odinga, who will become prime minister and whose party will run 20 ministries, was pushing for a leaner cabinet. But his spokesman said "compromises were necessary to take this country forward".

Not everyone agrees. About 100 activists, including the Nobel peace prize laureate Wangari Maathai, who served in the last government but has since become a critic of Kibaki, tried to deliver a petition this week to the president's office, urging him to keep the cabinet down to 24 ministers. They failed after police used teargas to disperse them.

The new ministries could cost taxpayers up to £400m annually, based on running expenses of existing ministries, said Mwalimu Mati, head of the Mars Group, an anti-corruption organization in Nairobi. Kibaki and Odinga have asked donor countries for about £240m to help resettle displaced people and reconstruct affected industries and areas.

"Announcing such a bloated cabinet at this time is like putting out a fire with gasoline," said Mati. "These guys are completely out of touch with public thinking."
hatari kubwa 40ministries!!
Hope watafanya kazi kweli sio tu kupeana vyeo na ofisi bila uwajibikaji!!!
Mungu Ibariki Afrika...
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