Uhuru, Ruto Cabinet headache
08 April 2013, 10:57
Nairobi - President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy Wiliam Ruto are expected to unveil their 22-member Cabinet as they settle to begin work.
Their main challenge will be implementing the country's new Constitution, which Uhuru’s allies, including Deputy President William Ruto had opposed at the referendum in August 2010.
The incoming president also faces the challenge of addressing poverty, crumbling healthcare and insecurity, especially terrorism, which threaten to hurt the East African country¹s tourism sector.
The country's economy is growing at a paltry 2.2 per cent, with massive job losses recorded in all crucial sectors.
Uhuru's government will also face the dilemma of the ballooning public wage bill and crumbling healthcare as the exchequer runs dry.
At the same time, eyes will be on him as he embarks on the delicate balancing act of uniting a divided nation.
Tribes living in the Western part of the country are disgruntled over alleged marginalization at the hands of members of Kenyatta¹s Kikuyu tribe.
Alleged marginalization by the state has also led to the emergence of gangs, some of which are advocating for secession such as the Mombasa Republican Council and Kenyatta will have to spend sleepless nights to ensure law and order prevails.
“The truth of the matter is Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto are taking over an ethnically divided country.Their first assignment should be healing the political rifts and reaching out to outgoing Prime Minister Raila Odinga,” says political science lecturer Kipng'eno Mugo.
Odinga and Kenyatta have been political rivals for decades.
Odinga came second in the March 4 General Election and went ahead to challenge Kenyatta¹s declaration as President-elect in court.
The Supreme Court, however, dismissed the petition citing lack of evidence of rigging.
Kenyatta will also be expected to reach out to US and European leaders, who were particularly critical of his presidential ambitions due to the crimes against humanity charges he faces at the International Criminal Court (ICC).
The European Union had warned of consequences in the event Kenyatta reneges on his promise to cooperate with the ICC. Both Kenyatta and Ruto are suspects before the court in relation to the 2007 electoral violence in Kenya, which killed 1,300 people.
“To say that Kenya can survive as an island is a fallacy. We need the international community for obvious reasons such as trade and even academic exchange programmes,” says Dr Samuel Ochieng, an international relations expert.
“To be seen to be running at cross-purposes with the West would not sit well with a third country such as ours,” Dr Ochieng added.
He says much as Kenya remains a sovereign state, it must exist harmoniously with other nations in the international system.
- CAJ News