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Minorities want in on cabinet

23 April 2013, 16:15 Omondi Oloo

Nairobi - Kenya's minority tribes are also demanding inclusion in the country’s new Cabinet expected to be unveiled this week.

The 18-member Cabinet was to be named last week but the announcement was put off to allow for further “consultations” within inner circles of President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto.

Members of small ethnic tribes say they want to be included in constitutional commissions and given other plum jobs including in state corporations and embassies abroad.

Their representatives say they expect Uhuru to end decades of alleged marginalisation by the country’s five main tribes of Kikuyu, Luo, Kalenjin, Luhya, Kamba and Kisii in public service jobs and other influential appointments. Kenya has 42 tribes. The big five account for nearly 40 percent of the population.

Speaking to the media in Nairobi, the group appealed to Kenya’s human rights crusaders and the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution (CIC) to intervene to ensure public appointments reflect the face of Kenya.

Kenneby Subuye, a member of Kenya’s Ilchamus tribe, said the smaller tribes had borne the brunt of decades of historical injustices.

“We demand that Kenyatta acts in good faith. We have seen it all and we would not want his regime to sideline us like the previous governments. We have professionals in all fields and see no reason why those in leadership always turn a blind eye to us,” he said in Nairobi today.

In Western Province of Kenya, members of the Tiriki tribe said they should be part and parcel of the country’s new leadership. They say in the interest of justice, all Kenyan tribes should have a stake in the new regime.

“Although the Tiriki community is known as a minority and marginalised, we deserve to be recognised constitutionally in the elective and appointive positions that are available,” said Ng’etich Chepsemba, the community’s spokesperson.

He added: “We fear that we are also going to be left out at the end of it all. We will, however, keep up the fight.”

In his inauguration speech, Uhuru pledged to form an inclusive government but some communities fear they may be sidelined.

“We will work together and I will not sideline anyone,” Uhuru reiterated last weekend when he visited Nyanza, an area that voted overwhelming for the opposition.

- CAJ News


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