, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 10 – Kenya’s leading political parties have agreed on key policies to be pursued as Parliament re-opens on Tuesday, with President Uhuru Kenyatta emphasising the need to fast-track crucial bills.
During a meeting at State House Nairobi, the Head of State told MPs allied to his TNA and Deputy President William Ruto’s URP to put their interests aside and push an agenda that benefits all Kenyans for economic empowerment.
Ruto on his part asked Jubilee legislators to stop wrangling and forge unity, while striving to deliver on their mandate.
Majority Leader in the National Assembly Aden Duale listed the approval of the Uwezo Fund regulations as among the major legislation MPs will seek to dispose off by end of the month, arguing that the delay is holding up the disbursement of the funds.
The Jubilee government set aside the Sh6 billion kitty for youth and women in business. The money was saved after Kenya avoided a presidential election run-off last March.
“That is so fundamental to our coalition because it was part of the manifesto that we sold to the Kenyan people. The Uwezo Fund regulation is one of the single most piece of regulation this Coalition and the whole Parliament must deal with,” Duale said.
Meanwhile, Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) leaders, Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka, met the group’s MPs and Senators at a retreat in Naivasha, where they urged them to play their oversight role to safeguard the interests of Kenyans.
“It is my wish that we approach the coming sessions as if we have mid-term elections sometimes next year and what we take away from here will, to a great extent, shape the direction our politics take in the remaining sessions.”
“If a question were to be put asking Kenyans whether they are any better off today than they were at this time last year, two years or three years ago, the answer would be a firm No! So, the most important issue I want to raise with you dear colleagues is that we must roll up our sleeves and fight relentlessly and vigorously for the people of Kenya. We must up our game,” Odinga stated.
The two leaders, who were also accompanied by Senate Minority Leader, Moses Wetangula, emphasised the need for increased and consistent funding to County Governments.
“We must not allow the National Government to turn elected Governors into beggars. The Governors must know from time to time how much money they expect and when it will come. If need be, we will take up this through a motion.”
The CORD principals urged their members to prioritise matters to do with security and famine as their main agenda in Parliament.
During the retreat, Odinga urged the MPs to stand up against emerging corruption in government and also called for the push to reconstitute the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).