NAIROBI, Kenya, May 15 – Prime Minister Raila Odinga has been given the okay by his party, the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), to replace his deputy Musalia Mudavadi as Deputy Prime Minister.
Mudavadi who decamped to the United Democratic Forum (UDF) resigned as ODM party deputy leader and Minister for Local Government a fortnight ago, but maintained he would remain a Deputy Prime Minister and MP for Sabatia.
The ODM National Executive Council (NEC) meeting held on Friday also instructed party chief whip Jakoyo Midiwo to replace his deputy Benjamin Washiali (MP for Mumias) who decamped to UDF over the weekend.
The ODM resolution was reached after a meeting of the NEC held at Orange House and was pegged on section 3(3) of the National Accord and Reconciliation Act.
Deputy Party Secretary General Joseph Nkaiserry who read the resolutions insisted that the position (of DPM) belonged to the party under the National Accord and Reconciliation Act.
“The National Executive Committee instructs the party leader who is also the Prime Minister to immediately nominate a new Deputy Prime Minister to represent the interests of the ODM side of the coalition. The NEC further instructs the party chief whip to immediately replace the deputy chief whip who has since quit the party,” Nkaiserry said after the three-hour meeting.
Section 4 of the National Accord and Reconciliation Act however provides that: “ The office of the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister shall become vacant only if the holder of the office dies, resigns or ceases to be a member of the National Assembly otherwise than by reason of the dissolution of Parliament; or if the National Assembly passes a resolution which is supported by a majority of all the members of the National Assembly, excluding the ex-officio members, and of which not less than seven days notice has been given, declaring that the National Assembly has no confidence in the Prime Minister or Deputy Prime Minister.”
The meeting which was chaired by ODM chairman Henry Kosgey also proposed amendments to the nomination rules to be forwarded to the National Governing Council (NGC).
Among the amendments opposed include that the nomination of the presidential candidate to be held at County level.
Further, the NEC proposed that nomination of other positions to be held through universal suffrage by party members.
The party also deliberated the recent appointment of 47 county commissioners by the president, and rejected the list and vowed not support any unlawful implementation of devolution.
“The NEC totally rejects the unilateral appointment of new County Commissioners as it is unconstitutional and negates the spirit of devolution and gender parity,” Nkaiserry further said.
“We will definitely have to address ourselves to this issue when the County Governments Bill comes back to the House but as ODM, we are not going to support unilateral appointments and distortion of devolution. We shall stand to protect devolution at all costs,” reiterated Budalangi MP Ababu Namwamba.
President Mwai Kibaki appointed 47 County Commissioners on Friday, effectively setting the stage for the formation of the county governments as enshrined in the new Constitution.
President Kibaki said that he was guided by Section 17 of the sixth schedule of the Constitution which requires that the national government shall be in place within five years after the effective date restructure the system of administration to accord with and respect the system of devolved governments established under the constitution.