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Newly formed Cabinet has a full tray

17 May 2013, 13:00

After the swearing in of the Cabinet nominees, the country now has Cabinet Secretaries, for the first time since independence. It was a historic moment for Kenyans since this is the first time to have Cabinet members who do not have constituency obligations.

This situation serves right since the newly appointed team will now focus on delivering the government’s agenda without feeling overburdened to serve constituencies. With the kind of independence they have from the electorate, the Cabinet Secretaries will be expected to serve every Kenyan since no one in particular elected them and they owe no allegiance to any constituency for the sake of re-election at some point.

However, with this new kind of system comes a huge sense of responsibility. These members of the new Cabinet have tasks and duties to carry out in haste so as to achieve the goals and objectives of the Jubilee government. No ministry is superior to another and this is so due to the fact that every docket has its clear-cut responsibilities and the number of the dockets is a mere 18, placing heavy responsibilities on each and every office.

At the national treasury, the new head Henry Rotich is expected to trim the expenditures of government and ensure that funds are allocated with due diligence and utmost fairness. He will also be expected to moderate the wage bill and growth rate of the country’s economy. The former director of macroeconomics at the treasury will be tasked with the duty of ensuring that the government raises enough revenue to cater for the ever expanding budget. He also has to ensure that the tax loop holes are sealed and public debts are cleared with utmost urgency.

In the health sector, workers are always crying and demanding for either better pay or better working conditions. Macharia, who comes into the field with experience from the banking sector, is tasked with the responsibility of ensuring good working conditions and better remuneration for the health professionals. He is also supposed to deliver on the promise of free maternal health care for all women in the country and also ensure that the standards of health care are elevated to ‘world class’ status.

Education is key to any growing or rather developing economy and that is why Prof. Jacob Kaimenyi has no time for homecomings and celebrations. The situation at Jogoo house is critical as teachers want their demands met to the letter. They want better working conditions as well as better pay and the state of school infrastructure across the country is also wanting - he has to tackle all these and still remain sober to tackle the issue of free universal quality education. The former deputy VC also has to work hand in hand with the ICT secretary to deliver on the free laptop promise.

Infrastructure and technology are dockets that also have loads of tasks to be fulfilled. Eng. Michael Kamau has to deliver on the Jubilee promise of offering adequate and sufficient transport facilities ranging from good roads to modern railway systems. He also has to work closely with Hassan Wario who heads the Sports docket to deliver on the ‘five stadiums in five different counties’ promise.

At the ICT docket, Dr. Matiang’i needs to hit the road running as the laptops promise is ripe and everyone is waiting to see how true Uhuru’s word is. He is also expected to fast track the digital migration and ensure that the whole process is done in accordance with the laid down procedure and in the best interest of the public.

Foreign affairs and defense dockets share daunting tasks of not only forming good relation but also maintaining security and protection around our boarders as well as dealing with external aggression both physically and verbally. The two women handling these powerful ministries need to work closely to ensure the situation in Somalia is handled amicably as well as ensure external ties are cordial.

Amina will also be expected to deal with the west and their ever-changing positions with regard to their foreign policies as well as formulate an appropriate foreign policy that will be respected across the board.

Finally, Prof. Wakhungu who heads the natural resources docket is expected to handle the reclamation of water towers and catchment areas to ensure sustainable relations between humans and wildlife as well as environmental conservation. She will work closely with the mining chief Hon. Balala as well as the housing head Hon. Ngilu in providing water to houses and ensuring minerals are explored properly. Kandie who heads the trade and tourism docket will be tasked with ensuring the proper implementation of the EAC policies and growth of tourism as well as improved trade relations between Kenya and foreign partners.

All these are just but a tip of the iceberg as the true work load lies wide open in the Jubilee manifesto. They are the first Cabinet Secretaries of all time but there is no time for celebrations and homecomings as the government is already behind on a bunch of issues. They have to roll up their sleeves and start digging deep to realize the achievable promises.

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