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#Politics & Current Affairs

Kenyan President Removes Cabinet Ministers Following Protests Over Taxation and Governance Issues

Kenyan President Removes Cabinet Ministers

On Thursday, Kenyan President William Ruto dismissed nearly his entire Cabinet and vowed to establish a new, more streamlined government in response to weeks of protests over high taxes and poor governance.

In a televised address, Ruto also announced the removal of the attorney general, stating that ministries will now be managed by their permanent secretaries. He indicated that this decision was influenced by public feedback and that he intends to form a more inclusive government following further consultations.

The unrest in Kenya, which has persisted for three weeks, intensified on June 25 when protesters stormed parliament over a new finance bill proposing tax hikes. The demonstrations, which have led to over 30 deaths, have escalated into demands for the president’s resignation.

Ruto confirmed that Musalia Mudavadi, the prime Cabinet secretary and a significant political ally, will retain his position. The president described the Cabinet reshuffle as a result of a thorough evaluation of its performance. He promised that the new government would focus on urgent reforms to address debt, enhance domestic revenue, create job opportunities, eliminate waste, and combat corruption.

Initially, Ruto appointed 21 Cabinet ministers following his election in 2022. Critics have accused him of favoring political allies over qualified technocrats. Several ministers resigned from elected positions or were seen as being rewarded with political appointments after losing elections.

Corruption scandals have plagued several ministries, including agriculture and health, involving issues such as fake fertilizer and fund mismanagement. Protesters have criticized the Cabinet for incompetence, arrogance, and extravagance amidst rising taxes and a cost-of-living crisis.

Although Ruto pledged not to sign the controversial finance bill, the protests have continued. On Friday, he apologized for the perceived arrogance and opulence of legislators and ministers, taking responsibility and promising to address these issues.

Ruto also announced austerity measures, including the dissolution of 47 state corporations with overlapping functions and the withdrawal of funding for the first lady’s office.

Analyst Herman Manyora described the Cabinet dismissal as a “bold move” essential for addressing the nation’s discontent. This marks the first time a sitting president has dismissed Cabinet ministers under Kenya’s new constitution, with the last similar action occurring in 2005 when then-President Mwai Kibaki dismissed his ministers following a failed referendum.

Kenyan President Removes Cabinet Ministers Following Protests Over Taxation and Governance Issues

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