Kenya: New government sworn in

The government of Kenya’s new President William Ruto was sworn in Thursday, two months after a close but peaceful presidential election.
The 22-member government team will be tasked with tackling the rising cost of living in the East African country, one of Ruto’s main campaign themes.
“You will have my support because you have no option but to succeed. Failure is not an option, we have a country to take care of,” the head of state told his new ministers in Nairobi. “We have nothing to hide. We want to serve Kenyans,” he said.
But the head of state has not kept his campaign promise to establish parity in his cabinet: only seven women are in it.
Musalia Mudavadi, a former vice president who broke with Raila Odinga, the opposition figure defeated by Mr. Ruto in the presidential election, will assume the newly created position of first secretary to the cabinet. Mr. Mudavadi, 62, will be the most senior minister and will report directly to the head of state and the vice-president.
Kithure Kindicki, a lawyer who was part of the legal team that defended Mr. Ruto’s victory, which was challenged by Mr. Odinga, in the Supreme Court, is taking over the Home Affairs Ministry.
Kindicki, a law professor, also represented Ruto before the International Criminal Court in The Hague when he was prosecuted for his alleged role in the 2007-08 post-election clashes that killed at least 1,100 people and displaced more than 600,000.
Former Central Bank of Kenya governor Njuguna Ndung’u has been appointed the new finance minister.
The ministers were approved Wednesday by parliament, which is dominated by Ruto’s supporters.
In September, Mr. Ruto, a chicken seller who rose from nothing to become one of the country’s richest men, promised to reform the tax system to make it more progressive and to tackle the country’s $70 billion debt.
The head of state said he had inherited an economy in poor condition after two terms in office – more than nine years – of his predecessor Uhuru Kenyatta, of whom he was vice-president.
Kenya, with a population of 50 million, is the economic powerhouse of East Africa, but one-third of its population lives below the poverty line.

About Geraldine Boechat 2734 Articles
Senior Editor for Medafrica Times and former journalist for Swiss National Television. former NGO team leader in Burundi and Somalia