NAIROBI, Kenya, April 18 – The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) has renewed its push for the exit of Head of Civil Service Francis Muthaura and Government Spokesman Alfred Mutua.
After a two day retreat for its Members of Parliament and the National Executive Council in Naivasha the party laid a demand that the two key offices be reconstituted on the basis of 50-50 power sharing agreement.
“The joint meeting resolved that in the view of the urgent need to establish all executive positions in accordance with the principle consultation and concurrence, the office of the Head of the Civil Service and the Government Spokesman be immediately reconstituted,” Secretary General Anyang Nyong’o who read the statement said on Saturday.
Prime Minister Raila Odinga early in the year denounced Dr Mutua saying he was not part of the coalition government. ODM has continually accused Mr Muthaura of interfering in the responsibilities of the Premier. Mr Muthaura is the Secretary to the Cabinet and is responsible for overseeing the implementation of cabinet decisions.
However with the establishment of the office of the PM who is mandated to supervise and co-ordinate government, the two offices have been on a collision path. This new demand is likely to be resisted by the Party of National Unity who had previously accused ODM of wanting to politicise the Public Service in their demands.
Mr Odinga, who is ODM’s party leader, has recently accused President Mwai Kibaki of sidelining him in key government decisions against the spirit of the National Accord which recognised the two as equal principals.
PNU seemed to have ceded ground last Thursday and agreed that the PM be consulted in the government appointments. A meeting of the Coalition Management Committee mandated Joint Secretaries Miguna Miguna and Kivutha Kibwana to come up with a framework for consultation in the appointments.
In the Saturday statement ODM also demanded that Mr Odinga be consulted in the creation of new districts. “The creation of new districts should be subjected to consultation and concurrence between the two coalition partners and must be done in accordance with the established law.”
Mr Odinga has faulted the President of haphazardly creating new districts without consulting him. In the last six years the Head of State has tripled districts bringing their number to 208.
ODM said it would also reintroduce Parliamentary Budget Office Bill which was rejected by the President even after Parliament debated and passed it last year. The party’s parliamentary committee would also prepare a Dual Citizenship Bill and present it to Parliament during the coming session which begins next Tuesday.
“The office of the Prime Minister should also urgently present to Cabinet and Parliament the comprehensive Social Protection Bill,” Prof Nyong’o added.
The Secretary General stressed the need to prioritise the reform agenda when Parliament reconvenes next week. He pointed out that priority should be given to privatising state corporations and assets in compliance with the Privatisation Act and in accordance with the National Accord.
The issue of Migingo Island was also discussed with the party urging the President to use his executive authority and ensure that the Ugandan flag hoisted on the island is lowered and Ugandan forces withdrawn