Mudavadi to get chief minister post in Kenya Kwanza bargain

Written by on 11 May 2022

Details of the coalition agreement between Deputy President William Ruto of UDA on the one hand and ANC and Ford-Kenya party leaders Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetang’ula on the other can now be revealed.

In the agreement between the three parties, which was signed on April 5 and presented to the Registrar of Political Parties on May 8, UDA will produce the presidential ticket for the Kenya Kwanza Alliance (KKA) while ANC will nominate the candidate to be appointed as Prime Cabinet Secretary.

Prime roles

The position of the Prime Cabinet Minister will be created within 14 days if the alliance wins the August 9 election. Ford Kenya will nominate the candidate who will be the Speaker of the National Assembly.

The two positions are perceived as having been tailored for Mudavadi and Wetangula respectively.

Both ANC and Ford-Kenya will also get 30 per cent of government, including Cabinet slots, Principal Secretaries, High Commissioners and other State jobs, says the document, a copy of which the People Daily is in possession. 

If the alliance forms government, the President shall within 14 days create the position of Prime Cabinet Secretary – equivalent of Prime Minister – and whose roles have been defined in the agreement. The roles are distinctive from those of the DP who, all indications are, shall come from the Mt Kenya region.

The agreement was signed by Ruto, Mudavadi and Wetangula and witnessed by the secretaries-general of the three parties: Veronica Maina (UDA), Simon Gikuru (ANC) and Chris Wamalwa (Ford Kenya), as well as ANC chairman Kelvin Lunani and was filed with the Registrar of Political Parties on Sunday, May 8.

It was also signed by Prof Kithure Kindiki, a UDA member, in his capacity as a lawyer. 

Article 21 of the agreement titled: “Sharing of National Government Responsibilities” states: “UDA shall nominate the Coalition’s presidential and deputy presidential candidates in the General Election of August 9. 

“ANC and Ford Kenya shall actively support and campaign for the coalition’s presidential and deputy presidential candidates nominated by UDA pursuant to the provisions of this Agreement”.

And in a move meant to assuage fears over the role of the DP, the agreement stipulates that the President elected under the coalition ticket “shall respect, defend and give full effect to the constitutional role, functions and mandate of the Deputy President.” 

The President will also “guarantee the stature, dignity and the financial and operational autonomy of the office of the Deputy President… in accordance with the Constitution and other relevant laws.”

Should the Ruto team win the election, the coalition will, within 30 days after the General Election, introduce in Parliament, legislation to provide clarity on the position of Prime Cabinet Secretary by amending the National Government Coordination Act 2013 to include the office of the Prime Cabinet Secretary, as well as incorporate and align the functions of that office as proposed to the existing structures under the Act.

The suggested law will define the functions of the Prime Cabinet Secretary to include assisting the President and  DP in the co-ordination and supervision of Government, ministries and State Departments. 

In what could be a kin to the post of the post of prime minister during the coalition government between the then President Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga as prime minister, the Kenya Kwanza deal says that  the role of Prime Cabinet Secretary will be  to co-ordinate and supervise national government functions and oversee the implementation of policies and programmes.

This will be distinct from the role of the Deputy President, whose prime roles will be to coordinate between the national and county governments and to chair Cabinet committees among other responsibilities.

Policy frameworks

Under the arrangement, the ministries responsible for Interior and Co-ordination of National Government shall be placed under the Office of the Prime Cabinet Secretary. The Prime Cabinet secretary shall also co-ordinate government legislative agenda across all Ministries and State Departments in consultation with the coalition leaders in Parliament.

The holder of the post will also co-ordinate and supervise the technical monitoring and evaluation of government policies, programmes and projects as well as  perform any other functions as may be assigned to him by the President.

In the agreement, the DP, according to the agreement,  will co-ordinate constitutional commissions and independent offices in matters that require the intervention of national government, including but not limited to budgets and policy frameworks for their operations.

Ford Kenay And ANC ill also nominate for election the coalition parlimentary group’s secretary and whip giving the two parties a big say in parliament.

The three parties agreed that if elected, the new government will prioritise the completion of all  incomplete or stalled bitumen road projects within the counties where both ANC and Ford Kenya  have a large following.

It will also construct a cumulative 1,000 kilometres of new bitumen roads in these areas, allocate revenue for the revival and modernisation of Mumias and Nzoia sugar factories and others within that jurisdiction.

It was also agreed that a KKA government will establish manufacturing, fisheries, agro-processing or housing projects as may be resolved by the Party Leaders Forum, the projects to be implemented alongside others to be identified within the normal and ordinary course of development planning of the government.

The agreement binds the three parties together until 2027 and  provides room for future membership of other political parties who shall negotiate for their interests individually.

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