By Hezron Ochiel, Nairobi-Kenya.
Kenya’s Coalition Government has resolved to abide by oath of secrecy and tighten
the flow of information within the government circle.
In a two day meeting aimed at jump starting the implementation of the new
constitution, Saturday, at the coastal Leisure Lodge, the government barred ministers
from revealing State secrets.
This comes barely a week after Water and irrigation Minister Charity Ngilu and her
former assistant Mwangi Kiunjuri started attacking one another in public over
corruption allegations in the ministry.
The meeting that was attended by the entire cabinet and chairpersons of various
parliamentary committees was chaired by President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister
The coalition government that was formed in 2008 after the post election violence is
faced with wrangles among cabinet ministers over corruption cases.
Two weeks ago Foreign affairs Minister Moses Wetangula and Permanent Secretary
Thuita Mwangi stepped aside over irregular sale of government property abroad.
The meeting also directed the ministers to abide by the principles of collective
In what appeared to be yet another blow to the public servants, the meeting barred
ministers, their assistants, Members of Parliament and other public officers from
participating in funds drive.
One of the resolutions read in part,"…to ensure that public officers, Ministers, Assistant
Ministers, Members of Parliament; Permanent Secretaries and all civil servants comply
with the integrity and ethical values elaborated in the constitution; as well as public
officer’s act which, among others, prohibits public officers from presiding over
harambee (fund raising) functions.
Kibaki and Raila asked their colleagues in Government to seize the opportunity and
make the new Constitution work.
"We have the goodwill of the country, let us not waste the opportunity they have given
us," said the President.
Earlier the team debated the implication of the organisation of national and devolved
governments under the new Constitution and how they would work to unite Kenyans
and promote investment.
They also discussed financial, management responsibilities between the Executive and
Parliament as well as Commission for Revenue Allocation.
The other issues included the procedure and process of ensuring accountability of
ministers and accounting officers to Parliament and enforcement of ethics and integrity
in the public service.
The President while closing the retreat, declared that nothing will stand on the way of
implementing the new law and that current leaders should take the lead so that they could
leave a better legacy and be remembered by Kenyans.
He said the country was in a transitional period that would see fundamental changes in
the manner in which it is governed.
"The Executive and Legislature are agreed on the need to work together with each arm of
Government in doing its duty to ensure the full implementation of the Constitution,” said
Participants at the retreat agreed to intensify and sustain the fight against corruption and
that ministers, Permanent Secretaries and Heads of Departments to ensure harmony in
The head of state told Cabinet ministers and MPs not to waste time quarrelling at the
expense of implementing the Constitution.
He noted that the Government was endowed with highly qualified members who can
make Kenya a great country.
"There is nothing you one can do except to make this country much greater," he
Also present at the meeting were The Speaker of the National Assembly Kenneth
Marende, and Head of Civil Service Francis Muthaura.
The prime in his statement asked Cabinet ministers and MPs to begin the process of
transformation and lay the foundation for implementation of the new Constitution.
“To ensure harmony, the Cabinet should not muzzle Parliament in the process of
implementing the Constitution,” he said.
"There should be room for the Executive to perform its role and Parliament should play
its oversight role without witch-hunt," added the prime minister.
The vice president Kalonzo Musyoka on the other hand said the new Constitution
clearly separates powers, to ensure harmony between Executive, Legislature and
"The three arms of Government will no longer be seen to interfere with one another in
the delivery of services," he said.
President Kibaki said the retreat would be used to consult with the Speaker of the
National Assembly and chairs of various parliamentary committees to reach a
consensus acceptable across the board on structures of Executive accountability and
responsibility to Parliament.
Reforms in the Judiciary and police, however, according to Raila were scheduled for
immediate implementation under the new Constitution.