Kenyan Ministers must quit party posts

September 7, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 7 – A section of MPs are now piling pressure on a number of Cabinet Ministers to relinquish their political party positions in compliance with the new Constitution.

Members of the Parliamentary Reform Caucus want Section 77 (2) of the new law which bars appointed State officers from holding political posts implemented immediately as required.
MPs Danson Mungatana, Charles Kilonzo and David Ngugi on Tuesday called on the President and Prime Minister to read the riot act to the Ministers since holding the two posts was illegal. The three accused the Executive of ignoring various administrative changes provided in the Constitution that do not need amendments to the law.

"The issue here is whether they are willing to relinquish these posts and if they are not, are the President and the Prime Minister willing to walk the talk," posed Mr Mungatana.

"It was nice to have beautiful speeches at Uhuru Park and dance but that doesn\’t yield compliance. The President and the Prime Minister need to go beyond dancing; we need to see action."

"The defiance of this provision is purely an issue of encouraging impunity. This does not require any legislation. It is purely administrative," said Yatta MP Charles Kilonzo.

The Ministers targeted by the MPs include the Party of National Unity\’s George Saitoti (Chairman), Kiraitu Murungi (Secretary General) and KANU\’s Uhuru Kenyatta (Chairman). Others are ODM Kenya\’s Samuel Poghisio (Chairman) and Mutula Kilonzo (Secretary General). In ODM the MPs want Secretary General Anyang Nyong\’o and Chairman Henry Kosgey to surrender their seats.

The MPs said it is wrong for the Cabinet Ministers to continue clinging to the posts yet the country overwhelmingly enacted the new Constitution.

"I mean, there is no vacuum! When they move out other people will replace them," said Mr Mungatana.

He called for sustained public pressure to ensure this requirement and other administrative matters were addressed by the State.

"Kenyans must know that politicians will never give up positions unless they are forced to do so," he said.

Mr Mungatana also demanded that ODM\’s aspirant in the Makadara constituency by-election Reuben Ndolo resigns as the Chairman of the Athi River Water Services since he is running for political office.

The MPs are warning that they will use Parliament to push for the resignations should the Cabinet Ministers hang onto the political positions.

"When Parliament re-opens we are going to make sure that if you are a Minister and you continue to hold political office then we will make your life difficult in the House," said Mr Kilonzo.

"Mine is to ask the media, fellow parliamentarians, the Law Society of Kenya and all Kenyans to be watchful of people who may want to derail the full implementation of the new Constitution," said Mr Ngugi.


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