News / Africa

Kenya Lawmakers Accuse Kenyatta of Undermining Constitution

Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta takes the oath of office as his wife Margaret holds a bible during the official swearing-in ceremony at Kasarani Stadium in Nairobi, April 9, 2013. Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta takes the oath of office as his wife Margaret holds a bible during the official swearing-in ceremony at Kasarani Stadium in Nairobi, April 9, 2013.
x
Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta takes the oath of office as his wife Margaret holds a bible during the official swearing-in ceremony at Kasarani Stadium in Nairobi, April 9, 2013.
Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta takes the oath of office as his wife Margaret holds a bible during the official swearing-in ceremony at Kasarani Stadium in Nairobi, April 9, 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
Peter Clottey
Kenya’s parliament plans to start work Thursday reviewing President Uhuru Kenyatta’s cabinet nominees.

But some members of parliament’s Appointments Committee have vowed to oppose the process after accusing President Kenyatta of contravening the constitution.

Lawmaker John Madi, a leading member of the Appointments Committee, says the list of cabinet nominees does not reflect regional and ethnic balance as stipulated in the constitution.

He says the list of candidates Kenyatta presented to parliament falls short of Article 152 of the constitution, which spells out the requirements of cabinet composition.

“Our constitution is very clear. It not only talks about regional balance, but also talks about ethnic balance,” Madi said. “This was because Kenya has been ethnically divided for a long time, and that is what brought the issues [post-election violence] that we had in 2007-2008.”

Kenya has 42 ethnic communities, with the Kikuyu, Luhya, Kalenjin and Luo being the four largest groups respectively. President Kenyatta is a Kikuyu while, deputy president William Ruto is a Kalenjin.

“If you look at the recent appointments, two ethnic communities -- whatever their sizes, or which is producing the president and the deputy president -- have contributed seven members to the 16-member cabinet, thereby leaving only nine slots for the other 40 ethnic communities,” said Madi. “The community of the deputy president is contributing four members of the cabinet secretaries, and the president’s community is producing three, with a fourth one coming from a closely related ethnic community.”

Madi says the cabinet list shows the two leaders were not ethnically sensitive in their selection.

“If you look at the Mount Kenya region and the Kalenjin community is producing eight out of 16 -- that is 50 percent of the cabinet secretaries. That is unfair to the rest the 40 other communities…in my view and in the views of my other colleagues, it is ethnically imbalanced the list of nominations,” he said.

Some supporters of the ruling Jubilee coalition party rejects the accusation, saying that both the president and his deputy chose the best qualified people to serve the country irrespective of their ethnicities.

They argue that the criticisms are aimed at creating divisions within the ruling coalition, which they said comprises all ethnic groups in the country.

But, Madi says the lack of balance creates tension and suspicion among other ethnic groups, which he said could potentially destabilize the country.

Madi says many Kenyans agree with him that the cabinet nominees consist mainly of the Kikuyu and Kalenjin ethnic groups, which he said is detrimental to the country’s unity.

“The confidence I have is that a good number of legislators, even from the Jubilee side who are coming from the outside of the two ethnic blocs, are actually unhappy. They are unhappy because despite the fact that they belong to Jubilee, that they are not included in the nominations to the cabinet. Therefore, because of that we may hold the government to account,” said Madi.
Clottey interview with Kenyan lawmaker John Madi
Clottey interview with Kenyan lawmaker John Madii
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

You May Like

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

36 people are confirmed dead, but some 270 remain trapped on board More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid