Minister rubbishes snap election calls

March 19, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 19 – Foreign Affairs Assistant Minister Richard Onyonka has said that calls for fresh elections by the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK), are unwarranted.

He stated on Thursday that rather than focus on the negative aspects of the Grand Coalition Government, the NCCK should pay more attention on development issues.

“If they say let’s hold elections now, does that mean they want the President to abdicate from the Constitution. Why are they sounding so naïve?” Mr Onyonka queried.

He further affirmed that President Mwai Kibaki was in control of the Coalition and called for patience as the government performed its duties.

“The Constitution states very clearly that the President has to be in power for four years so that he can finish his two terms,” he further stated.

The NCCK had on Wednesday called for fresh elections to replace what they termed as a ‘failed Coalition’.

Secretary General Canon Peter Karanja had also called for the downsizing of the bloated Cabinet by half in a bid to cut government expenditure amid the global financial crisis.

“The admission by government that it was facing hard economic times should be followed by prudent financial management of its resources,” he said.

The church leader castigated the government for failing to put its priorities right.

The comments come in the wake of revelations of excessive unnecessary spending by government amid reports that the country was faced with a budget deficit of over Sh100 billion.

Speaking during the opening of the Joint Permanent Commission with Zambia on Thursday, the Kitutu Chache Member of Parliament outlined the importance of the two countries strengthening their economic ties.

“We are going to be signing a bilateral agreement by the end of this week. Once the bilateral have been signed, we want them to go and look at the Kenya Cooperative Creameries (KCC) and Brookside dairies to show them how we are producing our milk,” Mr Onyonka explained.

He further pointed out that the reason why Kenya was not exporting dairy products was because they were not up to par with Zambian standards.

“The reason why they had refused our products is because they were saying that the conditions and circumstances under which we were producing this milk was not up to their standards,” he said.

The Assistant Minister stressed the benefits that can be enjoyed by the two countries through the implementation of the Joint Permanent Commission.


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