Kenyan leaders set to name cabinet

Controversy over size of cabinet agreed as part of power-sharing deal.

    Many Kenyans were frustrated with the delay
    in forming the power-sharing cabinet [AFP] 

    The cabinet was initially scheduled to be unveiled on April 6 but was put off after the two rivals failed to agree on a 50-50 share of key infrastructural and administrative portfolios.

    Once named, the new line-up will replace the current cabinet that Kibaki hastily assembled after Odinga accused him of rigging elections.

    Size questioned

    At least 1,200 people were killed and more than 300,000 were forced to leave their homes in violence that followed the disputed polls in December.

    "One minister can have as many as three cars, huge offices, extravagant allowances in country where the majority of people live below one dollar a day"

    Wangari Maathai, Nobel Peace Prize winner

    Al Jazeera's Mohammed Adow in Nairobi said that there was a lot of pessimism in Kenya despite the breakthrough.


    He said many people were questioning whether the new cabinet could solve the country's problems.

    "Many people here are angry about the size of this cabinet ... they say Kenya can simply not afford to pay for all the ministries as well as the cabinet's salaries," he said.

    Civil society groups and newspapers have campaigned against the size of the cabinet.

    Wangari Maathai, a Kenyan Nobel Peace Prize winner, said that the country could be managed more effectively by less ministers.

    "The international community has no business giving money, giving advances to a government that uses that money not to develop, but rather to sustain an extravagant lifestyle," she said.

    "One minister can have as many as three cars, huge offices, extravagant allowances in country where the majority of people live below one dollar a day."

    Public impatient

    The public has grown increasingly impatient with Kibaki and Odinga.


    For three days this week, fighting broke out in Kibera, Kenya's largest slum, between police and people protesting against the delay to form a coalition cabinet. 

    Naomi Wanjiku, who fled her home in the Rift Valley during the violence that erupted after the disputed election, questioned why neither Kibaki nor Odinga appeared to be helping thousands of displaced people.

    "They should come and see the suffering we are experiencing," she told Al Jazeera.

    "On the issue of the cabinet, I hear that they will be getting a lot of money. But they do not give us any, here we are living in tents. Don't they think?"

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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