, NAIROBI, Kenya Apr 4 – Coalition for Reform and Democracy (CORD) leaders Prime Minister Raila Odinga, Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka and Bungoma Senator Moses Wetangula on Thursday met with the coalition’s Members of Parliament and Senators to discuss ways of strengthening the opposition.
Odinga who lost the March 4 presidential election said the meeting held at his Karen private home deliberated how the coalition will capture key positions in House Committees as it settles to the role of the official opposition coalition in Parliament.
The CORD leader stated that the coalition members will be going out to head Parliament’s oversight committees in order to ensure transparency and openness of Executive activities.
“One cannot expect members of the ruling party to be responsible for overseeing their own government. So we would like to see that when it comes to committees that deal with oversight that members of CORD are given opportunity to chair those committees,” he said.
The Parliamentary Investment Committee and the Parliamentary Accounts Committee are separately mandated to approve and scrutinise government spending by highlighting waste within publicly-funded services. Their aim is to improve the economy, efficiency and effectiveness of government expenditure.
Odinga remarked that Parliament’s role had been redefined under the new Constitution, where it should protect the rights of citizens by monitoring policies and examining potential abuses of power, arbitrary behaviour and illegal or unconstitutional conduct by government.
The CORD leader complained over an attempt by the Jubilee Coalition to weaken the opposition in Parliament citing the recent developments where Peoples Democratic Party, Chama Cha Uzalendo and Federal Party of Kenya who had signed a pre-election pact with him defected to the ruling coalition.
“The way it is done in mature democracies, it either you do a pre-election or post election agreement but you do not do both,” the PM added.
Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka said the Coalition’s mandate in the opposition will be among others ensure the full implementation of the Constitution and the realisation of the gains of the devolved system of government.
“Lives were lost in the past because of this very important thing aimed to make sure that we devolve economic and political power to the grassroots and therefore any attempts to interfere with the 47 counties, it will be a very sad day if this conversation were to continue in a manner that’s not reflective of the wishes and the aspirations of Kenyan people,” said the VP.
The PM has in the last two days been meeting elected leaders from the County Wards and Constituencies in a bid to ensure that they use there numbers in the various assemblies to ensure the devolved system of government succeeds.