The Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya (CIPK) has urged leaders and citizens to strive for unity in the wake of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s cabinet appointments.
Led by its Secretary General Mohammed Khalifa, CIPK said the President’s appointments were all-inclusive and reflected the face of Kenya.
He said all the regions in the country were represented in the Cabinet and urged Kenyans to move on.
“Now that the President has named his Cabinet, we should stop politicking and instead stand as Kenyans and focus on development,” he said.
Sheikh Khalifa said elections are over and the President’s workforce already in place and urged Kenyans to desist from divisive politics.
“We are all Kenyans. What I urge my fellow countrymen is to embrace togetherness and focus on important issues like helping children from poor families go to school, engage in farming and industrialisation, which will boost our economy,” he said.
CIPK thanked President Uhuru Kenyatta for appointing four Muslims to the new Cabinet.
In the new Cabinet line-up former Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed will now head the Education ministry, Mr Najib Balala will continue heading the Tourism ministry, Adam Mohammed was maintained in Industrialisation and Rashid Mohammed was nominated to the Sports and Heritage ministry.
Former Tana River Governor Hussein Dado is set to be Chief Administrative Secretary in the Ministry of Devolution.
“I now urge the President to allocate the remaining slots in various parastatals and departments to minority tribes for them to feel Kenyan,” Sheikh Khalifa said.
He was speaking in Taveta Town, Taita Taveta County on Sunday during the launch of CIPK branch’s strategic plan.
He was accompanied by CIPK treasurer Hassan Omar and coordinator Fauz Twaha.
However, Friday’s appointment of only six women out of 22 Cabinet secretaries has elicited mixed reactions in the county.
Taita Taveta women professionals accused the President of falling short of the constitutional requirement of the two thirds gender rule.
Led by Ms Milka Righa, the women asked the President to consider professional women from the county in senior government positions.
“It is very unfair of the President to nominate only a few women in the Cabinet. Women have capacity to lead in senior government positions,” Ms Righa said.
ABLE TO SERVE
She said women cannot continue taking the back seat in leadership yet they are able to serve with diligence.
The women cited former Woman Representative Joyce Lay who decamped from the Orange Democratic Movement to join Jubilee in last year’s General Election.
Ms Lay lost her senatorial bid to Jones Mwaruma of ODM.
In his appointments, the President named Margret Mwakima as Principal Secretary for Tourism.
Ms Mwakima was previously in the Ministry of Natural Resources.
“We were looking forward to many appointments of our people by President Kenyatta. It is very unfair to see only one person was nominated,” said a resident, Ms Flora Mtuweta.
Ms Mtuweta said the county, which was previously in opposition, warmed up to Jubilee in the last year’s General Election.
Apart from Ms Lay, former senator Dan Mwazo also joined Jubilee and ran for the Taita Taveta gubernatorial seat which he lost to Governor Granton Samboja.
Former Governor John Mruttu also supported President’s Kenyatta’s re-election in the October 26 repeat poll.
“These three leaders deserve government appointments because they went out of the norm to support Jubilee which did not have much support in the region,” Ms Mtuweta said.
President Kenyatta garnered 30,000 votes in Taita Taveta in the August 2017 General Election and 24,000 votes in October 26, 2017 repeat election.