New resignation hits Kenya’s unity government

A deputy minister in Kenya’s ailing coalition government, Danson Mungatana, resigned on Tuesday, following the footsteps of fellow NARC-Kenya party member and Justice Minister Martha Karua. Medical Services Assistant Minister Danson Mungatana alleged that some forces in the government were against reforms, echoing complaints by Karua who said on Monday she was being hindered in her work. “I can’t continue serving a government that is anti-reform. It is a matter of principle and that is why I have quit the government today. Our party leader has quit because she was frustrated in bringing reforms. I also quit today in solidarity with her and our party,” he told reporters. Karua announced her resignation on Monday, citing the appointment of judges made by President Mwai Kibaki without her knowledge. Karua was one of Kibaki’s staunchest allies when he ran for re-election against then opposition leader Raila Odinga in December 2007. The dispute over the results led to weeks of violence that killed 1,500 people and ended with an internationally backed power-sharing deal in which Odinga became Prime Minister and Kibaki kept his job. Karua’s resignation rattled the one-year-old coalition government, which had been strained by tensions lately, and received the implicit support of Odinga, who accused Kibaki of systematically trumping his authority.

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