19 April 2013

Kenya: FKE Welcomes Uhuru's Trim Cabinet

Nairobi — The Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE) has welcomed President Uhuru Kenyatta's structure of 18 ministries, saying that a lean government is good for the country whose wage bill is currently above 35 percent of revenue.

The federation's chairman Erastus Mwongera applauded Kenyatta and expressed support for the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) which is addressing the bloated wage bill especially in the public service.

"Indeed, the country's wage bill is way too high and a wage bill of above 35 percent of revenue is not a good sign for any organisation; the government must not bend to the whims of a few and get itself in a vicious cycle where recurrent expenditure stretches the country's resources," he said.

The FKE boss also urged the president to include experienced people from the private sector in his Cabinet.

"We call for the inclusion of people with private sector experience and understanding in the new Cabinet," Mwongera said.

He appealed to the president to "ensure that we have the right calibre of people appointed to the positions of Cabinet Secretaries as we believe this is the right direction we should take so as to track Vision 2030."

The president was also asked to ensure he maintains an enabling environment for doing business.

"The president has talked passionately about creating an enabling environment for doing business and as employers we are comfortable with this. What we want is a guarantee that it means business and he will walk the talk," Mwongera affirmed.

The president on Thursday unveiled the structure of his new government, trimming it down to 18 ministries.

The president has broken down the new ministries to 24 departments which will be headed by Principal Secretaries (formerly Permanent Secretaries).

The Constitution sets a minimum of 14 and maximum 22 ministries.

The president is now expected to nominate Cabinet Secretaries in charge of the new ministries possibly next week.

The nominees will have to undergo vetting and approval of the National Assembly, after which the president will appoint them into office.

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