With the stepping aside of the embattled Devolution and Planning cabinet secretary Ann Waiguru, the talk within the ruling Jubilee and opposition Cord is to have the ministry disbanded.
Jubilee allied members say, the ministry has become an embarrassment to the president leading his rating to nose drive in recent opinion polls. To complicate matters worse is the talk, due to happenings at the ministry, Kenya has hit international headlines in both electronic and print media as a corrupt place. The bad image forced America and Britain to lead other European Union diplomats to address the burning graft issue with threats of travel bans on those implicated.
Political analysts say going by Jubilee allied legislators who supported Nandi MPs Alfred Keter motion to impeach Waiguru and the political heat the CS factor has raised in Central politics, it is better to scrap the ministry to remove the york it is creating around the president. Fearis, her continues stay is likely to divide Jubilee. Talk is rife, influential people surrounding Uhuru deputy William Ruto are the forces behind Keter raising eyebrows in the ruling coalition.
Nairobi governor Evans Kidero is among those moderates pushing for its disbandment. To follow suit were Cord legislators led by co-principal Moses Wetangula who seem to have abandoned their calls to have Waiguru step aside to pave way for investigations into alleged corruption in her ministry and are now calling on Uhuru to dissolve the ministry and its core functions transferred to the counties.
The move has also won support among all 47 Jubilee and Cord allied governors. Reports say, the matter is set to feature prominently during a meeting between the president and governors at State House early next month. The intergovernmental summit as it is known is held twice per year. The current financial crisis facing counties is to be discussed. It was postponed to give Uhuru time to monitor the preparations a head of Pope Francis visit to Kenya. Sources say, the president is so much involved in the Pope visit than even that of American president Barrack Obama months back.To Uhuru unlike Obama who skipped Kenya during his initial African tours, the Pope has decided to honour Kenya as his first landing place since taking over the mandate of leading the influential Catholic Church. Suprisingly the visit comes days after Obama hosted the Spiritual leader at White House.
The moderates want Uhuru to restructure the cabinet, dissolve the Devolution ministry with the entire budget passed on to the governors to manage the projects and functions. It is said, most of the ministry’s functions falls under counties and should be handled by the governors.
It is not only the politicians singing the disbandment song, church leaders and members of the private sector have joined the fray.
Back to the cabinet, sources say immediately after her appointment, there has been simmering disquiet in the cabinet with some of her colleagues accusing her of being overbearing. There have been claims of some coldwar within the cabinet. Her suspended counterpart Charity Ngilu has openly stated Waiguru should step aside and is being favoured. Mary Anne Keitany who was Ruto chief of staff but was linked to corrupt deals has never hidden the fact, Waiguru fixed her and has planted spies in the DP’s office.
Privately, the CSs are known to refer to Waiguru as Prime Minister or Madonna because she allegedly receives special attention from the executive and more so because her ministry’s role is seen as overriding and crosscutting influence in government and this is also because it has so many parastatals falling under it.
To show how powerful the ministry is a number of ministries under the previous grand coalition government was disbanded and put under Devolution and Planning. The ministries are Local Government, ministry of Youth, Special Programmes, Public Service, Gender, Regional Development, North Eastern and Planning.