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.
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

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal 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.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid