Friday, March 30, 2012

Kibaki, Raila in plot to overstay – Karua

the STAR
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Share/Save/Bookmark NARC KENYA leader Martha Karua has accused President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga of conspiring to illegally extend their stay in office. ''They are fooling Kenyans that they are split over the date of the next general election,''she said yesterday. Reacting to Tuesday evening's Cabinet reshuffle made by the Kibaki in consultation with Raila, Karua said: "How come they met and agreed over a Cabinet reshuffle yet they could not meet earlier to resolve the election date issue?''
She termed the abrupt reshuffle "selfish and self-serving and in the interest of the grand coalition government principals intended to undermine reforms''. The Gichugu MP observed: ''Raila used the opportunity to get rid of Najib Balala who has not been toeing the ODM party line but it was more a PNU affair with Kibaki moving to shore up a group (in apparent reference to the G7 Alliance). It was not about the country.''
Speaking during an interview, Karua said former Justice, National Cohesion and Constitutional Affairs minister Mutula Kilonzo was moved owing to his hard-line stance on the Ocampo Four suspects facing trial at the International Criminal Court in The Hague. Karua was Kilonzo's predecessor at the ministry.
She said both principals are never keen on fighting impunity and corruption in high places of government, which prompted her to quit in a huff and opined that her successor would not have succeeded since "the government lack commitment on zero tolerance to corruption". Karua argued that the appointment of Saboti MP Eugene Wamalwa as a replacement for Kilonzo ''is intended to facilitate the scuttling of the ICC process''. Wamalwa is a key member of the G7 Alliance that groups him together with Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, Eldoret North MP William Ruto and Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka.
Both Kenyatta and Ruto have expressed interest in the presidency despite facing trial at The Hague for alleged crimes against humanity along with former Civil Service boss Francis Mutahura and journalist Joshua arap Sang. Kilonzo has been an avowed critic of the duo's presidential bids. Karua, a presidential candidate whose party has complied with requirements of the Political Parties Act, mainained she is firmly in the race for State House and would appoint a male running mate when the appropriate time comes.
She urged Kenyans to demand early elections ''to cut short the intended illegal stay in office by Kibaki and Raila''. Karua dismissed the Gema leaders meeting held in Limuru last week as ''tribal and chauvinistic and did not serve national interests''. "I have never attended such meetings and would not do so in the future given that they serve certain interests that are ethnic in nature and can work against you if you are seeking the country's top leadership," she said.
President Kibaki used the Monday Cabinet mini reshuffle to manage the two Kenyan cases at the ICC, Ikolomani MP Boni Khalwale has said. “The president knew that he has an Attorney General and a Chief Justice who are anti-Hague and felt by naming Eugene Wamalwa to the Justice ministry he will be able to manage the ICC process since he feels he can control him,” said Khalwale. President Kibaki, on Monday named the Sabot MP justice Minister replacing Kilonzo who was demoted to Education docket in what is seen as an attempt to create the way for the Government to try and save the Ocampo four.
Khalwale cautioned Wamalwa to be careful with the justice docket noting it could end his political career or develop it further. He told Wamalwa to ensure the constitution is amended for the next general elections to he held this year. “Wamalwa must be aware that he has inherited a docket that had claimed independence from the judiciary and executive under Kilonzo and ensure he did things the right way to ensure full implementation of the constitution,” said Khalwale.
Khalwale likened the justice ministry to a very sharp razor blade that could help one cut a itch for himself or cut his own fingers if mishandled. The MP also said that Prime Minister Raila Odinga used the reshuffle to send a warning to ministers on his ODM side of the coalition opposed to his presidential bid that they could be fired by dropping former Tourism Minister Najib Balala.
In the reshuffle former Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetangula who would have received the news in Bamako Mali had he not arrived on Sunday was moved to Trade Ministry while then Education Minister Prof Sam Ongeri replaced him. Njeru Githae was confirmed at the treasury replacing Deputy prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta who resigned from the docket over the Hague charges were confirmed against him while backbencher Jamleck Kamau replaced him.
Yesterday, Khalwale said that the fact that the two principals agreed so fast to reshuffle the cabinet and failed to agree or even meet to discuss the date of election was prove they were serving self interests and not the public one. "Why did Raila not tell Kibaki to first discuss the election date before agreeing to the reshuffle if we are," queried Khalwale.

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