Focus now shifts to Kenya Parliament

April 21, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya Apr 21 – The clamour for constitutional and other reforms now shifts to Parliament as it reopens on Tuesday.

After alleged frustrations by the Executive in their reform agenda, the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) and NARC Kenya are now planning to use Parliament as the alternative to bring about needed reforms.  The two parties which consider the Party of National Unity as anti-reformist have given notice that they will use their numbers to push for changes in the government.

NARC Kenya met on Monday and resolved to assert its authority in the House by seeking representation in key committees once Parliament re-opened on Tuesday afternoon.

Secretary General Danson Mungatana told Capital News that the party was targeting the Public Accounts Committee, the Public Investments Committee, the House Business Committee and the Parliamentary Committee on the Administration of Justice and Legal Affairs.

“We held a meeting of the party this morning (Monday) to see which members will sit in which committee so that we are not concentrated on the same committees,” the Garsen legislator said.

He said that the party would stamp its authority in the House and ensure that the reform agenda momentum was maintained. NARC Kenya will be seeking to ensure the prudent management of funds, elimination of corruption, police and judicial reforms and the enactment of a Special Tribunal to try suspects of the post election violence.

“We shall effectively play the oversight role by making sure that the monies voted in are utilised in accordance with the purpose they are voted in,” Mr Mungatana said.

After a two day retreat over the weekend ODM outlined the various Bills for enactment. Secretary General Anyang’ Nyong’o said that the party would spearhead enactment of the Social Protection Bill, Parliamentary Budget Office Bill and the Dual Citizenship Bill.

ODM has been pushing for the replacement of Head of Civil Service Francis Muthaura and Government spokesman Alfred Mutua and expects to take this battle to the House.

Mr Mungatana resigned as Medical Services Assistant Minister two weeks ago a day after his party chair Martha Karua quit as Justice Minister over frustrations from the Executive in the reform agenda. The two have confirmed that they had initiated consultations with a caucus of backbenchers in the House who are seeking recognition in the National Assembly as the Official Opposition.

At least 59 MPs have registered for the Opposition caucus.

“We have talked with some of them and I expect the discussions to go further but at this point I don’t want to make any public comments then,” he revealed.

 The Garsen MP also dismissed reports that a lukewarm reception awaited the two in backbench. “Even when we were in government we were the progressive kind and not mouths for the government.”



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