ODM in fresh demand over coalition deal

January 7, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 7 – The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) on Wednesday fronted for the formation of a joint commission between itself and the Party of National Unity to evaluate the performance of the Coalition Government.

ODM Secretary General Professor Anyang’ Nyong’o after holding a Parliamentary Group (PG) meeting at the party headquarters, said the commission would provide a forum for consultations between the coalition partners.

“Given the serious doubts and concerns that ODM has expressed regarding the implementation of the National Accord since its inception, the ODM calls upon the Party of National Unity and ODM to establish a Joint Commission to audit the performance of the government, draw up a coalition agreement, establish a framework for consultation within that agreement and report within two weeks,” he said.

Prof. Nyong’o said that the Accord had clearly defined the roles of each of the partners (the President and the Prime Minister) saying the Head of Public Service Office was undermining the coalition government.

He called for the immediate disbandment of the office of the Head of Public Service and his functions transferred to the Prime Minister’s office.

“As such the co-ordination and supervision of the execution of government functions is the responsibility of the Prime Minister.  The exercising of these powers by the Head of Public Service is unconstitutional and undermines the coalition government,” he said.

The PG further agreed that the office of the government spokesman also be transferred to the Premier’s office for better coordination and execution of government decisions.

On the future of the Electoral Commission of Kenya, which has been the cause of a rift between the PM and Public Service chief, the party asked the President to appoint a team to guard ECK’s assets and documents before the formation of the Independent Interim Electoral Commission (IIEC).

The MPs also said that Parliament should be recalled as soon as possible to speed up the constitutional process, including the formation of the IIEC.

But PNU has termed the attack on the head of Civil Service by ODM as hypocritical and a politicisation of the role of the electoral commission.

PNU Chairman George Saitoti said that Francis Muthaura was acting within his job description when he appointed a team consisting of previous ECK workers to work on the transition.

He further said that criticism of the civil service would lead to poor service delivery.

“To zero in on one particular civil servant is wrong. It is not very much in the spirit of the accord agreement,” he stated.

“What we would wish to see is a total de-politicisation of the Civil Service because the more we go to the extent of politicising it, we put fear in the public service,” he further explained.

Speaking at the same time, ODM Kenya Secretary General Mutula Kilonzo said that Mr Muthaura was not under obligation to report to the Prime Minister.

“It is not possible for ambassador Muthaura to report to the office of the Prime Minister because his position is entrenched and protected by the constitution,” Mr Kilonzo stated categorically.


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