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Kenya:Minister's Accusations Criticized


A remark by Kenya’s health minister that president Mwai Kibaki’s government is comprised of corrupt and arrogant ministers is generating controversy. Several ministers are reportedly upset with charity Ngilu and have condemned her statement. They’ve called for her resignation, but Ngilu has dismissed their criticism. She said she was only voicing the truth because of what she called the failure of the Kibaki government to keep its promises to Kenyans.

Berth Mugo is Kenya’s deputy minister for education. She said minister Ngilu’s remarks were uncalled for.

“It’s very unfortunate that minister Ngilu uttered those words. In fact, you wonder now who is arrogant or not. Ngilu is part of cabinet, which takes collective responsibility. If she had any quarrel with what is going on she could easily have brought it up to cabinet or even discussed it with the president,” she said.

Mugo said the minister was just playing politics with her remarks.

“We think it is completely unfounded. And what she has said is to do with the political situation in the country. And because it’s just a round up to the elections, which are at the end of this year,” she said.

Mugo said President Kibaki’s government has not reneged on its promises to Kenyans.

“The government has done quite enough, but you can never do enough because there is always room for improvement. The government has only been in power for only four years when before there was no economic growth. But now the economy is growing at 5.8%. We are financing most of the country’s budget, which we used to borrow money for its funding,” Mugo noted.

She questioned the rationale behind minister Ngilu’s accusations.

“You can ask yourself, if there is that much corruption, where then is all these money all of a sudden coming from? The government has delivered and has done much to improve upon the living standards of the average Kenyan,” Mugo said.

She said the controversy generated by minister Ngilu’s accusation would have no effect on President Kibaki’s re-election bid.

“Not at all; in fact, ordinary people, many of them are calling upon her resignation. You see Ngilu has had a history of changing stands all the time. And in fact that is what the press is saying today. You never know where she is. First time she ‘s speaking positively about the government and castigating the opposition and the next time she changes her stance,” she said.

Mugo said Kenyans are no more surprised by minister Ngilu’s statements.

“She goes according to moods and people have come not to trust her. Her own ministry was accused of corruption a little while ago. In fact, I stood before parliament in her defense…I don’t want to say she is corrupt, but she is turning round and accusing ministers of corruption… so in fact people are asking who then is corrupt and who isn’t? But I think people who live in glass houses should not throw stones,” she said.

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