17 January 2018

Kenya: Western Kenya Leaders Urge Uhuru to Give Region Cabinet Slots

Leaders from western Kenya have called on President Uhuru Kenyatta to appoint into his Cabinet more people, especially women, from the region.

MPs Emmanuel Wangwe of Navakholo, Benjamin Washiali (Mumias East) and former ODM youth leader Rashid Mohammed also asked Mr Kenyatta to add three more Cabinet slots to those given to the region in his first term.

"In 2013, the region did not support Mr Kenyatta and his deputy Mr Ruto but the trend changed in the last elections and Jubilee Party received overwhelming support from this region," said Mr Washiali.

"We want the interests of the people from western, Nyanza, eastern, Coast, north eastern, central and Nairobi represented in the cabinet. The president should pick his ministers considering regional balance," added Mr Washiali.

In 2013, President Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto appointed Ms Judy Wakhungu and Eugene Wamalwa from western region to their Cabinet.

INCREASED SUPPORT

Speaking separately, the politicians said the region increased its support for Mr Kenyatta's re-election bid in the 2017 polls.

Mr Washiali, who addressed journalists in his CDF office at Shianda, also asked President Kenyatta to ensure his new Cabinet reflects the image of the country by appointing Cabinet secretaries from the eight regions of the country.

Mr Washiali, who is also the Chief Whip in the National Assembly, asked the chairman of the Liaison Committee in Parliament, Mr Cheboi, to appoint committee members based on regional balancing.

Mr Wangwe asked President Kenyatta to appoint some of the leaders who defected to Jubilee in the runner up to the repeat presidential election that was held on October 26, 2017.

REWARD

"It is always important to reward someone who supports you in your moments of need. Mr Kenyatta should extend his generosity to our brothers who decided to stand with us when we needed them most," said Mr Wangwe by phone.

Mr Mohammed told reporters in Mumias Town that the region is likely to become rebellious to the ruling administration if some of its leaders will not be appointed to the Cabinet.

Meanwhile, former Karachuonyo MP Phoebe Asiyo has urged President Kenyatta to give women an equival representation in the new Cabinet.

Ms Asiyo suggested that women be allocated either a 50 per cent or 33 per cent representation in the Cabinet, a move she said will help bridge the two-thirds gender threshold.

"We are appealing to President Uhuru not to disappoint women of this country in distributing the Cabinet jobs. Let him give women a fair share of positions in the new appointments," Asiyo said.

"I want to assure him that women will never let him down if they are given the opportunity to offer services to the people," she said.

President Kenyatta's first cabinet had five women including Amina Mohamed, Sicily Kariuki, Raychelle Omamo, Judi Wakhungu and Phyllis Kandie.

Current Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu was initially in the Cabinet but was later suspended over corruption allegations.

A court later exonerated her.

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