, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 17 – Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga has said that he has no problem with members of his Coalition of Reforms and Democracy (CORD) working with the government.
Odinga was responding to concern that a number of those elected into office on a CORD ticket, especially at the County level, were abandoning his camp and cosying up to the Jubilee-led government for greater benefit.
“It is not true that our members have fallen prey to courting by the Jubilee government. The reality is that Jubilee is in power and so we have permitted our members to meet with our national leaders. They do not betray CORD by meeting with the President and his Deputy,” Odinga said.
The coalition also revealed that they will be adopting this conciliatory stance when Parliament resumes on Tuesday in a bid to counteract their minority in the House when it comes to the passing of bills.
“We will put our point across as a responsible opposition and try to reason out because currently there is a deliberate attempt not to reason by the government simply because they think they have the tyranny and they can just walk anything across Parliament,” Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) Executive Director Magerer Langat told Capital FM News.
Amendments to the Value Added Tax (VAT) Act of 2013 are among issues CORD will be looking to win over their counterparts, on the opposite side of the House.
“We are going to sponsor an amendment or repeal of the VAT Act which is now in place so basic commodities such as milk and unga (flour) can be exempt from tax,” Langat said.
The CORD fraternity also said that it would work toward convincing the House majority that pulling out of the Rome Statute would not be in the best interest of Kenyans.
“We must think long-term and while we wish the President and his deputy the very best with their cases, the push to pull out at this time does not reflect well on their claims of innocence,” the ODM Executive Director said.
The push to strengthen The Office of the Inspector General, the Coalition added, would also serve to re-entrench impunity.
“We will strongly resist all attempts to sabotage the momentum of Police reforms by returning the country to the dark days of an imperial Police boss,” the Coalition resolved.
The opposition’s attempts to block the passage of legislation they disagreed with have previously often fallen flat on their faces with CORD affiliated members often storming out of the House to register their dissent.
The proposed change of tact may also be in response to President Kenyatta’s reprisal that the Kenyan people would be better served through constructive criticism as opposed to constant finger pointing.
“We realise that things cannot change through pronouncements made in rallies but in playing our oversight role in Parliament,” Langat summed-up.