the new kenyan cabinet, bloated and expensive

President Kibaki and Premier Odinga are two men without much of a strong will. This is evidenced by their capitulation to the demands of their cronies and allies in the naming of the new cabinet. 42 cabinet including the president and AG was announced by these two men. And this in a country that struggles to feed its people, educate them and keep them alive. Did we really need separate ministries for medical services and public health and sanitation? or education and higher education? And what exactly will the minister for fisheries development do that the minister for agriculture or water cannot do?

It’s insulting how these two men turned a completely deaf ear to the calls made by Kenyans for a leaner, cheaper cabinet. It’s tax payer’s money you are spending Messrs president and premier.

I understand that there was need to please as many people as possible following the events of February, but at the same time I do believe that there could have been a cheaper way of doing this. Perhaps having a more transparent system of government where ministers did not run their ministries like personal fiefdoms would have made people feel included in the government and obviated the need for tribal representation in the cabinet.

And now that we have a cabinet, it will be interesting to see how it actually functions, given the animosity that exists between the ODM and PNU and the rest. I can speculate that there will be a lot of mission creep across amorphously defined ministerial portfolios resulting in intra-cabinet power struggles. I can also see the members of the cabinet continuing in their bad habit of addressing each other through the media like they don’t have each other’s contacts (I seriously think that the media should give such exchanges a black out to teach these men and women a lesson).

Oh, and on all those promises of better government, a new constitution, land reforms, prosecution of corruption, roads, schools, hospitals ………. etc : I am not holding my breath.