Sunday July 26, 2020 – After President Uhuru Kenyatta’s messy purge in the National Assembly and the Senate’s committees, camps allied to Deputy President William Ruto and Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader, Raila Odinga, have opened a new front in their ongoing political war, and are now fighting over who should keep the Government in check.
Dr. Ruto’s allies, who were edged out of influential House committees, want to officially assume the role of the Opposition, pointing out that ODM is now formally working with the Government and cannot effectively play the oversight role.
Speaking on Wednesday, Jubilee Party Deputy Secretary-General, Caleb Kositany, who has become the de facto spokesman in the DP’s camp, said they want to be allowed to check the excesses of the Executive.
“Now that they (ODM) have been given committee positions, which should be filled by the majority side, what we are going to request is that we be allowed to play the opposition role in Parliament so that we keep the Government in check,” he said.
The outspoken first-term lawmaker termed the committee changes as unfortunate saying those who questioned the Government on various issues were de-whipped from key committees.
“We were elected to serve our people and that is what we will continue to do despite ODM lawmakers being given our positions in a Government that we campaigned for vigorously,” Mr Kositany said.
In a quick rejoinder, ODM chairman, John Mbadi, told off the DP’s allies saying oversighting of the Government does not mean one has to fight it.
“There is this notion that the role of the opposition is to fight the Government.”
”The Government is not our enemy.”
“We want President Kenyatta to succeed but that doesn’t mean we don’t play our role,” Mbadi said.
“The role of the Opposition is not to abuse the Government but to point out where they are not doing things right and correct it,” he added.
Mr Mbadi said that, when the house resumes its sittings next Tuesday, he will be using his position to demand for accountability from the Government on various issues every Thursday.
“Despite the Handshake, we cannot just wait for Government bills and support them. We need to put the Government in check and that is what I’ll start doing,” Mr Mbadi said.
But according to University of Nairobi linguistics lecturer, Herman Manyora, in reality, the country has no opposition.
“We don’t have opposition in this country but if you are looking for opposition within the Government, then we have it,” Manyora said.
The Kenyan DAILY POST