Riots erupt in row over giant cabinet

Riots erupted in the Kibera slum of Nairobi today in protest over delays in the naming of a grand coalition cabinet.

According to Classic 105 FM, riot police have been deployed in Kibera to control the situation and to prevent violence from spreading outside the area. So far no casualties have been reported. Kibera is represented by ODM leader Raila Odinga, who will be Prime Minister in the grand coalition cabinet.

A coalition cabinet of 40 ministers was due for naming last Sunday but rows over the influential ministries of finance, energy, local government, foreign affairs and transport have meant continued delays. Both President Mwai Kibaki’s Party of National Unity (PNU) and the ODM want to control these ministries. Yesterday, Mr Odinga brought fresh demands which include the dissolution of the present 17 member cabinet, a clear definition of his responsibilities and a greater say in appointments to the civil service, the security services and in state corporations. President Kibaki also held a press conference in which he blamed the ODM for the delay in forming a cabinet.

If wrangles over the composition of the coalition cabinet persist, there lies a real possibility of violent protests by supporters of the ODM.

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