NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 21 – The National Council of Community Based Organisations (CBO) joined calls for snap elections on Saturday, by launching its own million-signature drive against the Grand Coalition Government.,
The move was in support of Wednesday’s calls by the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK) that termed President Mwai Kibaki as moribund and Prime Minister Raila Odinga ineffective in the management of the coalition government.
National CBO council Chairman Tom Aosa told a press conference on Saturday that they were launching a drive to push the President and Prime Minister to take firmer control of the government.
“We are targeting a million signatures to support the idea of petitioning these two principals to act or dissolve Parliament,” Mr Aosa said, adding that the political class had terribly failed the electorate and it was time it corrected its mistakes or quit.
“Honestly, should we keep quiet as the civil society and watch all this things happening?” he posed. “Things might not change immediately, but if Kenyans gave them (the leaders) pressure to do things as they should be done they will do it.”
Citing corruption, MP’s refusal to pay taxes and what he termed as lack of leadership by the Premier and the President, Mr Aosa said dissolution of Parliament may be the only solution.
However Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Constitutional Affairs Minister Martha Karua have already dismissed calls for fresh elections.
Speaking after a meeting with representatives of political parties on Friday, Ms Karua said there would be no elections until the constitutional reform process is complete.
Prime Minister Odinga, on the other hand, said the church leaders had no basis to call for an election, especially now that the government was yet to constitute a credible electoral body after the ECK was disbanded in December, following public outcry over impartial officials.
He censured the religious leaders for propagating populist politics at the expense of critical national issues and defended the government’s track record since the inception of the coalition 11 months ago.