, NAIROBI, Kenya, April 7 -The Party of National Unity (PNU) Parliamentary Group has poured scorn at Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s latest demands for respect from President Mwai Kibaki.
Emerging from a meeting at KICC on Tuesday, PNU leaders picked on Monday’s complaints by Mr Odinga at a function in Mombasa that he hadn’t been accorded fitting treatment from government functionaries.
“The Prime Minister complained that when he went to Mombasa (on Monday) he was not given a toilet. So, when he goes there again, be prepared to build him his own special toilet,” Cabinet Minister Chirau Ali Mwakwere – a PNU stalwart – stated.
It was in response to Mr Odinga’s grumbling while at an official function in Mombasa, that facilities such as a toilet and red carpet had not been laid out for him as is done for President Mwai Kibaki.
“We can also lay down a carpet for him (Mr Odinga), be it red, green or white. Kenya’s flag has got many colours so he has got a variety to choose from,” Mr Mwakwere retorted.
Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta also called on Mr Odinga to focus on development rather than constant reference to the contentious 2007 General Election.
“If I were him, I would try and focus myself on trying to bring about the necessary reforms,” the deputy PM urged.
The PNU meeting was chaired by Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka: “It is incumbent upon us and particularly at the level of the Prime Minister to give recognition and respect to the highest office in this land.”
“That is not being sycophantic, that is being realistic because we are all coalition partners and it is inappropriate to pour abuse on the person of his Excellency the president.”
Internal Security minister George Saitoti explained that the president did not create new districts under his own volition but was following the wishes of Kenyans.
“It is the people through the elected members who have requested new districts. There is nothing wrong, there is nothing illegal and if you look at it in the Constitution, the proper methodology has been followed,” Mr Saitoti argued.
Mr Saitoti said that the institution of the President should be taken seriously and as such should be respected at all times.
He took offence on the PM’s public remarks referring to President Mwai Kibaki’s failure to honour him by consulting him.
He emphasised that any conflict between the two Principals needed to be settled in private through dialogue so as to uphold the spirit of the grand coalition.
“The Institutes of the Presidency and the Prime Minister are fundamental institutions of the State and must be respected and we take it as a great offence when his Excellency the President is referred to in many derogatory terms,” the Internal Security Minister said.