Uhuru, Muthaura bow to pressure, step aside - Daily Nation

Uhuru, Muthaura bow to pressure, step aside

Thursday January 26 2012

Kenyan Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta (2ndL), and former Cabinet secretary Francis Muthaura (2ndR) attend a hearing, at the International Criminal Court in The Hague. PHOTO / FILE

Kenyan Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta (2ndL), and former Cabinet secretary Francis Muthaura (2ndR) attend a hearing, at the International Criminal Court in The Hague. PHOTO / FILE 

By NATION REPORTER

Kenya's Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Head of Public Service and Secretary to the Cabinet Francis Muthaura have stepped aside from office following a decision by ICC pre-trial Judges to confirm charges of crimes against humanity levelled against them.

Mr Kenyatta will however retain his post as Deputy Prime Minister in the coalition government.

President Kibaki accepted the decision of the two to step aside on Thursday and appointed Nairobi Metropolitan Minister Njeru Githae to act as Finance Minister.

Internal Security Permanent Secretary Francis Kimemia also takes over Mr Muthaura's duties on an acting capacity.

Mutea Iringo will be Acting Permanent Secretary for Provincial Administration and Internal Security.

A statement from the President Press Service stated: "The President has accepted the decision by Uhuru Kenyatta to step aside as the Minister for Finance. However, Hon. Kenyatta will retain the position of Deputy Prime Minister in accordance with the Constitution."

"The President has also accepted the decision by Francis Muthaura to step aside as Permanent Secretary, Secretary to the Cabinet and Head of the Public Service.

"In this regard, Mr. Francis T. Kimemia, CBS Permanent Secretary, Provincial Administration and Internal Security will be Acting Permanent Secretary, Secretary to the Cabinet and Head of Public Service."

The decision by Mr Kenyatta and Mr Muthaura to step aside follows mounting pressure from President Kibaki's coalition partners ODM for the duo to relinquish their offices. (READ: ODM legislators now want Uhuru, Muthaura sacked)

Justice Minister Mutula Kilonzo had kicked of the debate with assertions that the confirmation of ICC charges against Mr Kenyatta and Eldoret MP William Ruto barred them from vying for the Presidency.

Mr Kilonzo said Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto pronouncements that an ICC indictment would not halt their presidential ambitions was the height of impunity.

"It is just impunity because you can't take a court of law for granted and we don't know what the court will say," the Justice minister had said during the launch of the East African Centre for Human Rights at the Hotel Intercontinental, Nairobi.