Two Members of Parliament from CORD and one from Jubilee have lashed out at Siaya Senator James Orengo over the proposed report on the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
CORD’s Chris Wamalwa (Kiminini) and Ken Okoth (Kibra) said that the report has proposals that would be detrimental to the country’s democracy, blaming Orengo for misrepresenting the coalition.
Speaking on Citizen TV’s Power Breakfast Show Tuesday morning, the legislators claimed that the report drafted after month-long sessions by the Joint Parliamentary Select Committee has sections that are not palatable and should be amended to conform to the Constitution.
“I am one of legislators who are not happy with the report and I have expressed by reservations to the committee co-chair James Orengo and CORD leader Raila Odinga,” said Wamalwa.
“I feel that CORD ceded a lot of ground to Jubilee and in so doing made all the fight we put up in pushing for electoral reforms in vain, yet people lost their lives and property fighting for the cause.”
Wamalwa stated that the clause which prevents aspirants from hopping to other parties after failing to clinch nomination tickets is faulty and should be amended.
“The Constitution rests the power of picking candidates to the people. It is dangerous, therefore, to infringe on this right,” said the Kiminini MP.
“We should allow aspirants to defect to other parties or run as independent candidates after they fail to clinch nomination tickets in their current parties.”
The Ford Kenya MP further faulted CORD representatives in the committee for agreeing to the cleaning of register saying their issue was with the numerous voter registers that were in place and needed to be overhauled.
He further stated: “Our desire was to go for IPPG and on that we failed; the current report give the president powers to pick IEBC select committee which is not what we wanted. Even after the current commissioners have left, we will have a problem when it comes to picking new ones.”
Okoth, on his part, accused Orengo of ignoring the interests of the coalition in the negotiations, saying his statement, quoted on a local daily signified arrogance.
Orengo, who co-chaired the committee with Meru Senator Kiraitu Murungi, was quoted on a local daily hitting out at those who oppose the report, terming them hypocritical.
James Orengo is being arrogant, he shouldn’t think he is special just because he chaired the committee because many people could have done his job, even better,” said Okoth.
“Kenyan citizens should be the one to choose whether they want to vote for a particular leader or they want to send them home.”
The CORD MPs remarked were echoed by Gichugu MP Ejidius Barua who said it would be wrong for Jubilee and CORD leaders to force MPs to pass the report without amendments.
“By telling MPs to adopt the report as it is amount to castrating the House. When a motion is brought into parliament, it can either be passed as it is, passed with amendments or rejected. We should be given opportunity to read the report and make the decision.”
The report is set to be debated in Parliament on Wednesday.
On Sunday, Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria defended Senator Orengo’s contributions in the drafting of the report saying those saying otherwise were ill-advised.