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Resolving Cabinet Crisis in Kenya


- Prof. Sir Vincent Mbirika

( Monday, April 21, 2008 )

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" In the case of ministerial division, let both, PNU and ODM be reminded, each ministry is equal to another. To label some more important than others is a serious error no government should ever be caught in." -Prof. Sir Vincent Mbirika


.......*Article submitted April 2, 2008 - 6:47:38 a.m. U.S. Eastern Standard Time

I couldn't have agreed more with Nancy Mburu's report in the East African Standard of April 2 regarding the Kenya cabinet crisis. To ask Kenyans to be patient when thousand of their country folks are languishing in un bearable human conditions close to death, is the height of irresponsibility, lack of care and sensibility and above all, an ultimate national shame.Let us be clear about this. There is no cabinet ministry or for that matter, a position in government worth one single human life. To ask Kenyans to be patient when they are suffering untold hardship is criminal.

Both Mzee Kibaki and Prime Minister elect, Raila Odinga are products of good schools which must have taught them the real meaning of the word. "equal." Assuming, the way they have been acting recently, somehow, they have forgotten what "sharing equally," or in other words, sharing 50/50 means, may they please, allow us, their loyal followers to remind them a principal of simple arithmetic in sharing something. It simply means, each of them takes half of whatever is there for distribution. In this case, it is ministries and other high ranking government positions, such as permanent secretaries and managing directors. But for this purpose, let us stick with cabinet ministries.

In the case of ministerial division, let both, PNU and ODM be reminded, each ministry is equal to another. To label some more important than others is a serious error no government should ever be caught in. There is no mathematical formula good and accurate enough to measure how important one ministry is over and above another. What kind of morale do you think labeling ministries that way would create in people assigned those ministries labeled inferior? Let us therefore, abandon once and for all that fuzzy arithmetic.

Now that we accept all ministries carry the same weight, all we need to agree on is how many of them are absolutely needed at this time in order to run a government effectively. By the grace of God, we are recovering from what would have possibly amounted to a catastrophe of biblical proportion. We have already lost over one thousand lives and have hundreds of thousand homeless. To ask these suffering people to be patient " ni upumbavu usiyo na heshima ama udamaduli" I do not believe neither Mzee Kibaki nor Prime Minister elect, Raila Odinga would have the stomach for that selfish request.

If a number of ministries has been agreed upon, here is a ten minutes simple formula to divide them between PNU and ODM parties: Write the names of all ministries on separate pieces of paper and fold them. That takes five minutes. Throw them into a shaker and shake them up. Invite each party to pick at random a piece, one after another until all have been picked up. Now, each party has equal share of the ministries, that is 50/50. Open them up and assign to each of their respective people. That takes another 5 minutes.If that formula is not good enough and fair to each side, there would be no other method fair enough that would be satisfactory to each side. And, we do not need to waste Kofi Annan's time to cone over to lecture us on this simple arithmetic any more than we need him to remind us to change Raila's title from "PM elect" to PM

I have lived in the USA for the past 48 years after helping Kenya win the war of colonialism. I am a proud Kenyan who wouldn't accept a U.S foreign citizenship. I get very sick and tired watching my fellow wananchi who are elected to rule and reign over us, reducing themselves to .no better than matatu drivers who have no knowledge where the road supposed to lead us to prosperity, which we once thought was for all of us is. Both Rais Mzee Kibaki and His Excellency,Aguambo Odinga, are my long time friends and I beg them in the name of my other friends and late elders Jomo Kenyatta, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, Ronald Ngala, Tom Mboya, Joseph Murumbi, Masinde Muliro, Paul Ngei, Dedan Kimathi, Bildad Kakya, Ruth Habwe, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere and Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah, to set aside their differences and think for a moment, what the people I have mentioned would like them to do at this time and this week. Stop for a moment and make a decision this week, not next week or next month, this week. Form a coalition government comprising equal partnership in form and substance.And may God bless your actions

Professor Sir Abukuse V.E.P.Mbirika
Sovereign Grand Master of Knights of Africa and Knights of Malta
New York, USA

Prof. Sir Vincent Abukuse Mbirika at one of  his Knights of Malta offices
Photo Above: Prof. Sir Vincent Abukuse Mbirika at one of his Knights of Malta offices
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