Squabbling delays giant cabinet announcement

Disappointment engulfed the country yesterday as squabbling over key ministries delayed the announcement of a coalition cabinet yet again.

Earlier last week, President Mwai Kibaki and ODM leader Raila Odinga had promised to unveil a new cabinet line-up by yesterday. The inauguration was set for April 12 but this may change if the cabinet is not formed this week. The row is over prominent ministries such as transport, energy and foreign affairs which both Odinga’s ODM and Kibaki’s PNU are eager to control. Kibaki allies currently occupying the positions have threatened to withdraw their support for the President should he replace them with ODM appointees.

The delay in naming the cabinet has increased tensions in the countryside and analysts fear a fresh outbreak of violence unless PNU and ODM resolve their differences. Without a coalition cabinet, the internally displaced refugees will not return to their former homes, said Mr Odinga last weekend.

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