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Fresh row now looms over list of diplomats released by Muthaura
By KENNETH OGOSIA
4 May 2008
A move by the Head of Public Service Francis Muthaura to attach the list of serving diplomats to a draft presidential circular containing fresh Cabinet and government appointments is likely to stir new controversy within the Grand Coalition.
There are fears this would be taken to mean the envoys were handed fresh appointments without consultations with the Orange Democratic Movement.
The government insists, however, that the whole thing is just a formality.
The list of diplomats serving in Kenyan missions abroad is annexed to the Draft Presidential Circular No 1/2008.
Government Spokesman Dr Alfred Mutua on Saturday denied that any ambassadorial appointments have been made.
"That is just a draft and we are working on a final copy. That is merely meant to present certain information for correction by government officials concerned.”
Dr Mutua added: “The attachments were just for the purpose of highlighting the existing missions abroad and to keep them on record as functioning departments. They have not been closed because of the new political dispensation anyway.” Mr Francis Muthaura signed the circular dated April 25 which said “ this circular is issued with the authority of His Excellency the President and it contains appointments and changes made in the Government”.
The circular is copied to all ministers, assistant ministers, permanent secretaries, and the provincial commissioners among others. It is indicated the circular “supercedes all previous Presidential circulars on the organization of the Government and the responsibilities will be varied as circumstances and needs arise.”
The National Accord and Reconciliation Act on power-sharing which prompted the formation of a Grand Coalition Government requires consultation between President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga before certain key appointments are made.
The appointment of permanent secretaries recently sparked complaints from ODM with its leaders saying they were “short-changed” as names presented by the Prime Minister were left out or those appointed taken to junior ministries
Mr George Ojiema, a governance and public sector reforms consultant, said there may be no forthcoming negotiations between President Kibaki and Mr Odinga on the appointment of ambassadors. This is because they have technically been confirmed in office, he said
The document could however still be viewed as a draft because among those named as still serving in the diplomatic service have since quit.
They are former ambassador to South Mrs Tabitha Seii, ODM-K nominated MP Mohammed Affey who served in Somalia and assistant minister for Education Francis Baya who was in New Delhi, India.
The draft is an attempt to define the organisation of government, outlining the functions of all the ministries created to accommodate ODM, PNU, ODM Kenya and all parliamentary parties except KADDU.
Source: Sunday Nation