Kenya’s President Ruto fires almost entire cabinet after protests

Kenyan President William Ruto has fired almost his entire cabinet after weeks of anti-government protests, he announced Thursday.

Only Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua and Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi have been left in their posts, the president said.

The decision was taken “upon reflection, and a holistic appraisal” of his cabinet, he told reporters from State House Nairobi.

“Even with the progress we’ve made, I’m acutely aware that the people of Kenya have very high expectations of me, and they believe that this administration can undertake the most extensive transformation in our nation’s history.”

Ruto said he is engaging in “extensive consultations” to form a “broad-based” new government.

The Kenyan leader has been at the center of a political firestorm in recent weeks after efforts to push through a controversial tax bill sparked days of violent protest across the country.

He acknowledged on Thursday that the recent turn of events had brought the country to an “inflexion point” which necessitated action.

Ruto chose to withdraw the Finance Bill entirely at the end of June after deadly protests that left dozens dead.

“I will immediately engage in extensive consultations across different sectors and political formations, with the aim of setting up a broad-based government,” Ruto said.

The president said he hoped the new government could help him implement “radical programs” namely focused on dealing with debt, expanding job opportunities, eliminating wastage and duplication of government agencies and handling corruption.

During the process, government operations are set to continue “uninterrupted,” Ruto said, promising to announce the “additional measures in due course.”

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