Cabinet Secretaries Amina and Adan's bitter supremacy battle splits Jubilee

Ministry of Foreign Affairs led by Amina Mohamed and the ministry of trade and Industrialisation led by Adan Mohamed are locked in a power struggle over the control of the international trade docket.

Ministry of foreign affairs led by Amina Mohamed and the ministry of trade and Industrialisation led by Adan Mohamed are locked in a power struggle over the control of the International trade docket.

The docket has been allocated Sh1 billion for economic co-operation and commercial diplomacy, according to budget estimates tabled in the National Assembly.

“Through executive order No 1 of May 2016, the international trade function was transferred to the State Department of Trade but the funds that were previously meant for economic cooperation and commercial aspects related to Ministry of Foreign Affairs were erroneously transferred — including the two sub-programmes,” said Amina in budget submissions presented to the Defence and Foreign Relations committee last week.

His counterpart at the ministry of trade however claims the control of the same insisting the State House had in May 2016, through an executive order, moved international trade to the Industrialisation and Trade ministry.

Matters have been complicated more after State house chief of staff, Joseph Kinyua wrote to the Foreign Affairs ministry rescinding an earlier transfer of functions related to economic cooperation and commercial diplomacy to the Ministry of Trade and Industrialisation.

Nairobi hosted the 10th WTO ministerial conference in December 2015 and thereafter in July 2016 hosted the UNCTAD conference all which deals with commercial diplomacy with Amina as the key chairperson.

“After the executive order, the chief of staff wrote to the ministry clarifying that functions relating to World Trade Organisation and UNCTAD be retained under the ministry,” said the Foreign Affairs secretary.

Amina’s docket was previously known as Foreign Affairs and International Trade but has since dropped the latter segment.

Following the May 2016 re-organisation, Adan’s ministry was renamed Industry, Trade and Cooperatives.

Amina now wants Parliament to allocate her the Sh1 billion to carry out the functions of international trade.

“Funding for economic co-operation and commercial diplomacy amounting to Sh1 billion is required,” the minister told MPs.

Some government officials have stated that the WTO and UNCTAD were “one-off events” and therefore did not warrant Amina’s ministry to be allocated the entire Sh1 billion.

“This is serious duplication. Trade is now under Adan’s ministry. What do they need the money for?”  A government official who sought anonymity told a local business daily.

The feud has even taken a political angle with politicians taking different sides in a bid to access the Sh1 billion purse.

Amina belongs to Mr Kenyatta’s TNA camp while Adan owes his Cabinet nomination to Deputy President William Ruto’s URP wing of the ruling Jubilee coalition.

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