Kenya's Deputy PM quits finance docket

Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday stepped down as Finance minister, succumbing to a jinx that has haunted holders of that docket since 1993.

Mr Kenyatta
The Deputy Prime Minister bowed out of his 10th floor Treasury Buildings office after three years, after the International Criminal Court committed him to stand trial for crimes against humanity arising from the 2007-2008 post-election violence.

Mr Kenyatta becomes the eighth occupant to leave the office prematurely since Prof George Saitoti served two terms after which his third was cut short under pressure from the Bretton Woods over the Goldenberg scandal in 1993.

For Mr Kenyatta, the only saving grace is that he is the only Finance minister during President Kibaki’s era to quit without the burden of controversy arising from his operations at the Treasury.

Previously, David Mwiraria resigned over the Anglo Leasing scandal while Amos Kimunya was shown the red card by Parliament over the Laico Regency (then Grand Regency) sale to a Libyan company.

President Kibaki on Thursday announced that he had accepted Mr Kenyatta’s decision to step aside as Finance minister.

However, he said Mr Kenyatta would retain his position of Deputy Prime Minister “in accordance with the Constitution”.

The President also accepted Francis Muthaura’s request to step aside as Secretary to the Cabinet and Head of the Public Service.

Francis Kimemia, the permanent secretary in the Internal Security Ministry will temporarily hold Mr Muthaura’s position.

Mutea Iringo will succeed Mr Kimemia at Internal Security while Mr Njeru Githae, also the Nairobi Metropolitan minister, will be the acting Finance minister.

Both Mr Muthaura and Mr Kenyatta have been under pressure to quit their positions after they were committed to trial by the International Criminal Court over the 2007/8 post-election violence on Monday.
Source: Business Daily reported by By Muna Wahome  

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