- Kenyan Justice Minister Martha Wangari Karua has quit the coalition government saying the government is blocking her reform agenda. She is the first Kenyan minister to resign from the Grand Coalition Government.
Her resignation comes just few days after President Kibaki appointed five new High Court judges and promoted two others to the Court of Appeal.
Ms Karua said the appointment of judges without her knowledge has undermined her authority as a minister. “If I feel as a Minister I am not helping Kenyans. Then it is not a must I remain one,” she told a news conference in Kenya.
Local reports said the resignation of the Minister has also pre-empted a plot by back benchers in Parliament to censure her for allegedly not doing enough to institute her proposed reforms in the justice system.
“If I am to conduct a reform agenda and every time we talk reforms people in government feel I am stepping on their toes then they have forgotten what reforms are,” she said.
Ms Karua had accused the Judiciary of being sluggish and anti-reform and laid the blame on the Chief Justice Evans Gicheru. She also lashed out at the Chief Justice, accusing him of blocking judicial reforms in the country and called for his removal.
Ms Karua who has been attacked by government top officials for not implementing reforms, has however defended her name by saying the top politicians were on her case for her vicious fight against corruption in the country.
Ms Karua was a key ally of President Mwai Kibaki and was his negotiator for the power-sharing deal to end the bloodshed after the disputed polls in 2007. The violence that broke out left 1,133 people dead and a further 350,000 displaced.
President Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga formed the unity government in February 2008 ending almost two months of bloodshed.
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