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Will Cabinet suffocate in the sea of corruption?

05 June 2013, 16:46 Paul Orodi

A full cabinet is now in place and it is upon the government to hit the ground running. Already, we sit behind schedule in a number of agenda yet parliament does not seem to see this. All that the legislators want is an increase in salaries; but from where?

With the court having barred the legislators from achieving their desired goal of earning close to a million shillings, the focus now shifts not entirely though, to the cabinet. The president has a lean cabinet of about 18 ladies and gentlemen who seem jovial and up to task on delivering Jubilee promises. Question is; will it be a smooth ride?

The Jubilee cabinet comes into office amidst a power struggle between senior government officials who are rotten away with corruption and new agenda set to strike out the elephant in the room. Who will win this battle? It is a tough one and it will not be fought in the forests or any other place but at the courts or EACC offices.

A large potion of the cabinet comprise of fresh faces but who have at least served in government in various capacities at one time or the other. Very few can be accredited as having walked in fresh from the private world like Health Secretary, Macharia. Some have even walked the corridors of power as ministers heading for a cabinet meeting - the likes of Balala and Ngilu. How will this mix of people bring about desired change? Will it be achieved or will we have a problem cleaning out our rotten public sector?

Major dockets have been granted to ladies and by this I mean dockets that handle large chunks of monies and have numerous links to the president’s office. These dockets include; Defence, Foreign Affairs, Lands and Planning. This has been seen as a way of empowering women but before we empower them can we at least empower ourselves as a whole first. These dockets are marred with corruption allegations right left and centre and they are yet to be cleaned.

At the heart of Foreign Affairs is Mwangi Thuita who has been paraded in court on corruption allegations and many more at that ministry have been mentioned in reports linked with corruption allegations. How will Amb. Mohamed tackle this vice? Will she be swallowed up by the fierce presence of power players at the ministry or will it be systems overhaul for the players in the Foreign Affairs office?

Lands docket has been given to a former cabinet member, Charity Ngilu. She has served previously in various dockets under the Kibaki era ranging from Health to Water. Based on results on the ground, it is said that she actually did a good job but now she finds herself at the thick of things with regard to fighting corruption. Ardhi house has been known as the ‘house of thieves’ for over 25 years simply because of the numerous scandals ad tricks staged at the lands offices. Will she be able to crush out the cartels that have made Dorothy Angote’s life a continuous battle field?

Many other dockets have numerous challenges but the most critical of them all is over-feeding by public officers to the extent that they feed even on public funds and resources.

Public utilities and services need to be re-established so as to benefit the citizens, and corruption must be fought from all angles if at all we will move even an inch towards double digit economic growth.

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