Discontent in the coalition: the honeymoon may still be on, but the coalition is not a happy one. John Kamau reports from Nairobi.

Author:Kamau, John
Position::Around Africa: Kenya - Brief Article

New portraits of a smiling President Mwai Kibaki now dot Kenyan government offices and private business establishments. The near fanatical support he got in the December elections that decimated the former ruling parry, Kanu, has not withered yet. But there are murmurs of discontent already within the loose 14-party National Rainbow Coalition (NARC) that he heads.

During Kibaki's first 100 days in office, it was feared that the discontent within the coalition may threaten the much-awaited economic rake-off, forcing all the 134 NARC members of parliament, led by Vice President Kijana Wamalwa, to go for a retreat to iron out their differences--some real; some imaginary.

"We know that Kenyans have been disappointed and dissatisfied with some of the appointments that the NARC government has made," Wamalwa admitted. "So, let's come out with a mechanism on how such issues can be addressed and corrected."

Crities of the new government claim that a "Mount Kenya Mafia" has already emerged within the president's inner circle and was calling the shots at Stare House. They say the clique is made up of people from the Mount Kenya region tribes--Kikuyu, Embu and Meru.

Kenyans are murmuring that the appointments of permanent secretaries, provincial administrators and, much mote recently, appointments of executives of state corporations have been disappointing. The critics claim that President Kibaki is giving the top jobs in the civil service to his friends or merely recycling former Kanu stalwarts, some of whom have been recalled from retirement.

Prof Makau wa Mutua, chairman of the Kenya Human Rights Commission, said: "Many of these appointees are clearly past their productive...

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