Coalition Cabinet must deliver Kenyan dream

Kenyans voted in large numbers during last year’s General Election expecting to put in place a Government that would deliver the Kenyan dream.

That Government, in the anticipation of many, was expected to be lean, efficient, reform-oriented, accountable and truly reflective of the nation.

The events following last year’s elections challenged this nation’s resilience beyond everyone’s imagination. Polarisation along the political divide became a threat to national security and stability, with an emergence of perceptions of regional political positions. It was apparent to everyone that tribalism had been reincarnated and opportunists on both sides took advantage of the situation. The rest is history.

This country has been denied what it deserved but has now been tested and offered a unique opportunity to address historical teething challenges through a bi-partisan team representing the collective interests of the people.

Great expectations

What is the expectation of the people?

Let us first take note that last Sunday, President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga unveiled what has been termed a grand coalition Cabinet. The question is: what is grand about it? Certainly the sheer size, which remains mind-boggling and cannot be deemed to be outstanding in the creativity and clustering of the ministries. Neither can it be said to be impressive or outstanding in drawing from the pool of expertise among newly-elected parliamentarians.

However, it would appear that accommodation of wider political interests was the fundamental objective. The Public Watchdog is inundated with complaints of unfair distribution of portfolios from both sides of the political divide. The issue of portfolio balance in a regional perspective remains a matter of public debate.

In same way, political considerations and realignment for future elections appears to have begun in earnest. Efforts to contain certain powerful interests appear to be at play in distribution of portfolios.

Whilst some of the complaints have merit, this country now desires to move on and those that have been assigned portfolios perceived to have ‘more bones and less meat’ must remain thankful as there are many other deserving parliamentarians who would be happy with just ‘bones’.

Needless to say, the very political survival of the primary interests in political theatrics necessitates embracing any opportunity for a lifeline. Thus, under the political landscape there is no more room for a laissez-faire or live-and-let-live attitude on both sides of the political divide. Everyone must stay awake and the people are becoming wiser day by day.

Secondly, it is certainly true that the construction of the coalition government has been influenced by extraordinary circumstances. Indeed, the people’s desire now is to embrace any measure that can achieve the bridging of the political divide so as to guarantee peace, security and stability.

The prevailing social, economic and political considerations as well as regional and international dynamics have, therefore, largely influenced the construction of the grand coalition Government. It is, therefore, considered a ‘two-in-one’ government, which must act and serve the people as one government. It is with this ‘two-in-one’ challenge in mind that our leaders will have to quickly learn that there are inherent differences of opinions and possibly conflicting policy aspirations.


ur leaders must respect differing opinions and harness areas of convergence in thinking as a strategy towards building trusts and confidence. In the event they choose to concentrate on their differences, then they must surely be aware that there are plenty of opportunities to make the coalition dream short-lived.

We trust that no one would be so naive as to undermine their future political interests by undermining a realisation of the Kenyan dream. A dream that makes our people freely engage in their day-to-day productivity in an environment of peace and tranquillity.

A dream that accords every Kenyan equal opportunity to gainful employment, fairness in engaging in business, quality education for our children. And provides a national constitution that guarantee’s political stability, accountability, security and justice to current and future generations.

Thirdly, as a people we shall have yet another opportunity to exercise our democratic rights and decide on a political question that shall determine forever our country’s political and economic destiny. In this respect, this grand coalition Government has a unique opportunity to determine the future of our country, our individual and collective prosperity as a people.


We must ensure that the current and past challenges serve to bring useful lessons to bear in reshaping the destiny of our country. In writing this column, we have drawn on the wise words of legendary British politician Winston Churchill. Speaking about the role of the past some 70 years ago, Churchill said: "If we open a quarrel between the present and the past, we shall be in danger of losing the future."

It is the wisdom of such great leaders that should inspire our own leaders and the Kenyan people to now concentrate on building trust and confidence for the future.

This Government cannot be about the past. As such, the promises made during the last election were with respect to the future — on the Constitution, infrastructure, devolution, wealth creation and equitable distribution of resources including human

Bookmark the permalink.