The Statehouse show and the men running it
25 April 2013, 18:43
As His Excellency the president and the deputy president were unveiling the first names of their 18 member cabinet, the country was stunned to see how the two gentlemen pulled a show at the presidential gardens just behind the statehouse.
After waiting for close to half an hour, the country was treated to a display of red ties and white shirts with no blazers to complement the dark trousers they were donning.
On emerging, the deputy president kicked off the session by introducing the agenda for the day and later called on the president to conduct the much awaited exercise.
It was a show like no other and it clearly defined the turn that the president was taking in terms of governance and openness in running this great nation.
For the first time, the president made nominations and not full appointments as his father and former presidents had previously been doing.
The law stipulates that the president can nominate persons who are competent and meet a certain threshold and later recommend them to the appointments committee in parliament for vetting.
Kenyatta did exactly that when he started off by saying, “We have nominated…” and then went on to pull a new stunt in government circles.
After every announcement, the president gave a brief history of the nominee to enable the country familiarize with the individual.
This is totally unlike previous regimes where people were announced at random and putting a face to the name was extremely hard.
One could even receive an appointment from the bushes while conducting some shady deals and he would quickly rush to statehouse on the swearing in day to take his position without having been interviewed or anything.
As though not enough, the president had a surprise for Kenyans as he allowed each nominee to take the podium and briefly remark on the appointment.
This is indeed a new one in Kenya and most African circles. Rarely do African heads of state give appointees an opportunity to speak let alone nominees, and for Uhuru to pull such a stunt he clearly shows how desperate he is to put professionalism to the table and apply absolute transparency in government affairs.
Kenya has seen many firsts through uhuru. For starters, he is the first president to nominate a lady for the defense docket and the first to have a substantial number of women in the cabinet. He is also the first to nominate professionals for cabinet slots and the first to nominate a woman for the lucrative foreign affairs docket.
The president has proved to be a man of many firsts and above all, a man who loves to pull a show with every opportunity accorded to him.
On Wednesday at statehouse when he showed up to relay the sad news that there were no names, he ensured he made the country laugh by casually coercing his deputy to reiterate what he had announced in Kiswahili and this clearly put the Ruto in a tight spot as he struggled to look for words left, right and center.
The two gentlemen have been branded the ‘dynamic duo’ and I have no objection to that they clearly fit the label. They love their job but above all they love a good display and a comical show whenever they are accorded an opportunity.
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