The back and forth tussle that has become of the negotiations between Kibaki and Raila over a coalition cabinet is very unseemly. More than twice, the two men have met and agreed on a deal only to have their mouthpieces issue statements on the contrary.
What surprises me is how PNU is acting like they did not know what they were getting into by signing the Feb. 28th agreement. By agreeing to share power with ODM, they essentially admitted guilt to the shady mess that was the previous December’s general election and thereby allowed ODM to put one foot into government. If PNU thought that ODM would be contented with the ministry of fisheries and such then they were way off the mark. Like any political party these people want power and they will not settle for less.
What Kibaki ought to do now is just give them what they want and then control them via the Finance Ministry. The two most contentious posts seem to be Foreign and Local Government Ministries. Kenya’s foreign ministry is not that big of a deal. Who cares about summits and talk shops around the world? Plus it’s not like the country has any coherent foreign policy that would be severely changed by an ODM apparatchik in the post. And with the ministry of Local Government, I say give it to ODM. It’s not like the major towns and cities – outside of the wider Central region – are not pro-ODM already. Having to fight councils and city residents selling tomatoes in the streets might even make them unpopular come 2012.
My two cents on this is that the tussle is about nothing really. The president can continue to run the entire cabinet through control of the treasury and concentrate power in the hands of the Finance minister. Kenyan ministers are not an ambitious lot so I don’t think any of them will want to do anything revolutionary simply because they are now in charge of local councils or the ministry of heavy industry (I can’t believe they are actually creating these superfluous ministries).
So save us the drama Mr. President and name a cabinet already. Your government will be a joke anyway, with its 40 cabinet posts. Kenyans will pay over 500 million Shillings every year paying for the bloated cabinet and expect and get absolutely nothing in return. Shame shame shame.
I put it to you that what really matters to Kenyans is not what post some fat cat gets in your government but the stuff that increases the number of sufurias of ugali in their homes : equitable economic development.