News 2008


Finance Minister Dropped As Kikwete Names Cabinet

The Nation (Nairobi)

13 February 2008

Damas Kanyabwoya


President Jakaya Kikwete Tuesday named a new Cabinet which is smaller and designed to suit current and future needs of the country.

Nine former ministers were dropped among them Finance Minister Zakhia Meghji, Public Security, Mr Bakari Mwapachu, former Minister for Industries, Trade and Marketing Basil Mramba and former Home Affairs Minister Joseph Mungai.

Mr Kikwete said that after two years experimentation with a larger Cabinet he has seen the need for reduction of the size to cut costs increased efficiency. The new Cabinet has 47 ministers including 26 full ministers and 21 deputy ministers. The former Cabinet had a total of 60 ministers that included 29 full ministers and 31 deputy ministers.

In the new Cabinet some ministries have been integrated to form a single ministry, the ministry of Political Affairs and Social Relations (Siasa na Mahusiano ya Jamii) has been scraped while one new ministry Communications, Science and Technology has been formed. "The responsibilities of the scraped ministry of Political Affairs and Social relations will be taken over by the Prime Minister's office and President's advisors on political affairs, Mr Kikwete said.

Portfolios that were integrated to form single ministries include Finance and Planning and Home Affairs and Public Security which becomes the ministry of Home Affairs. Likewise Higher Education has been put under the ministry of Education and Vocational Training while Science and Technology has been put in the new ministry of Communications, Science and Technology. Irrigation department is now under the ministry of Water and Irrigation while Fisheries department is under the ministry of Livestock Development and Fisheries. Mr Kikwete said the veteran politicians some of who have been in the cabinet since the first phase government asked to be left aside since they have served enough time.

"Mzee Kingunge Ngombale Mwiru and Joseph Mungai came to see me on behalf of others and told me it is time they quit the Cabinet but they offered to continue advising the government whenever necessary," he said.

Other ministers dropped were: former minister for Planning, Economy and Empowerment Dr Juma Ngasongwa, former minster of Political Affairs and Social Relations, Mr Kingunge Ngombale Mwiru and former minister for East Africa Cooperation Dr Ibrahim Msabaha who had earlier resigned after being implicated in the Richmond energy scandal that forced Prime Minister Edward Lowassa to resign last week.