African Press International (API)

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Appointing an obedient and loyal servant – Michuki gets the finance docket

Posted by African Press International on July 13, 2008

Sadly, the finance docket did not go to where some expected. Acting capacity, but in the person of Oburu Odinga – the present Finance assistant minister. He would have become powerful then his younger brother Raila. So it is possible that Raila did not want to push for that. It would aslo have made it difficult for the Odinga family because then Oburu would have to push for taxes by MPs, something that is very unpopular. Such a push could put Raila’s future presidential ambitions to jeopardy. So it is better to leave it to the PNU people and later accuse them for taxing MPs. Michuki, however, will not relent, but push and force the MPs to be like normal people and make them pay taxes. (API)

Michuki takes over at Treasury

Story by JEFF OTIENO
Veteran politician John Michuki has been appointed acting minister of Finance.

Mr Michuki takes over from Mr Amos Kimunya who resigned on Tuesday following a vote of no confidence by Parliament over his alleged involvement in the controversial sale of the Grand Regency Hotel.

Apart from the 66-year-old Michuki, President Kibaki also appointed Public Works minister Chris Obure the acting minister for Roads.

Mr Obure takes over from the late Mr Kipkalya Kones who died in a plane crash last month with his colleague Ms Lorna Laboso. Ms Laboso was an assistant minister in the office of the Vice President.

Immediate effect

The appointments are with immediate effect, a press statement from State House said on Friday.

Mr Michuki is no stranger at the Treasury as he worked there as an under secretary in 1963, after Kenya became independent. He was promoted to deputy Permanent Secretary in 1964 and appointed Permanent Secretary the following year.

Mr Michuki represented the Government on numerous boards and in various capacities, including alternate Governor for Kenya on the boards of the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation.

He retired from Government service following his appointment as chairman of the Kenya Commercial Bank on November 1, 1970 and left for the private sector.

Mr Obure is also a former Finance minister in the Kanu regime.

A former soccer player who has also served as a Kenya Football Federation official, Mr Obure is a businessman and runs a transport company.

Mr Obure made a comeback to Parliament on an Orange Democratic Movement ticket last year after losing his parliamentary seat in the National Rainbow Coalition wave in 2002.

Mr Michuki will take charge of the Finance docket until investigations into the sale of the five-star hotel are completed. Last Thursday, President Kibaki appointed a commission chaired by Rtd Justice Abdul Majid Cockar to investigate the sale of the hotel. It is this commission that will determine the fate of Mr Kimunya.

As acting minister, Mr Michuki will not be able to commit the Government in any agreements involving funds with bilateral and multi-lateral donors. This is because Finance is one of the Executive ministries alongside Internal Security and Local Government.

He will however be able to offer policy guidance, initiate debate and answer questions in Parliament.

Mr Michuki studied public administration and economics at Worcester College, University of Oxford, while Mr Obure studied commerce at the University of Nairobi.

Mr Michuki was appointed minister for Transport and Communications when the Narc government assumed power in 2002. He served as Provincial Administration and also Internal Security minister, where he sparked controversy in his fight against the illegal Mungiki sect.

He has also served as Roads and Public Works minister.

API/Nation.ke

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