Kenya’s prime minister wants crisis mediator Kofi Annan to step in and resolve a growing row between the coalition government’s two main parties over corruption allegations, a deputy prime minister said yesterday.
The rift emerged when Prime Minister Raila Odinga suspended Agriculture Minister William Ruto and Education Minister Sam Ongeri last Sunday for three months to allow independent investigations into corruption allegations in their ministries.
Hours later, President Mwai Kibaki overturned the decision, saying he had not been consulted on the matter and Odinga did not have the constitutional powers to suspend the two ministers.
“In view of the above, the prime minister has declared a dispute between the coalition partners and seeks the immediate intervention of the African Union, in particular the office of the eminent African personalities chaired by his Excellency Dr. Kofi Annan,” said Musalia Mudavadi, deputy leader of Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement.
Mudavadi is one of two deputy prime ministers appointed as part of the power-sharing deal that ended months of post-election violence in 2008 over a disputed election. The other deputy prime minister is from Kibaki’s party.
“The national accord expressly stipulates that both principals agreed to share power equally in order to bring peace to this country. Legally and constitutionally, neither the president nor the prime minister is superior to the other,” Mudavadi said in a statement.
Pic: Kofi Annan