Ababu Namwamba: Change law to create office for opposition leader
The Council of Professionals of Kenya has reiterated the call for a constitutional amendment to have an official leader of the opposition and the deputy.
Addressing the media at the Intercontinental Hotel, the council chairman – former Budalang’i MP Ababu Namwamba – said that a change in law was necessary to consolidate the Opposition by creating an empowered position of the official leader of the opposition and the deputy, with the two included in the Senate as specially elected senators.
“A democracy must have a stable government and a strong opposition to keep the government in check and that is why we propose the consolidation of the Opposition and the creation of the official leader of the Opposition and his deputy,” Mr Namwamba said.
He called for the formation of a shadow Cabinet that could offer alternatives and form the alternative government.
Mr Namwamba also called for inclusivity and the review of the ‘winner-takes-it-all’ tendency of Kenyan elections in order to strengthen democracy.
“We need to have a fresh relook at the question of winner-takes-all or loser-loses-all in order to strengthen our democracy. In the coming weeks, the council will be unveiling its proposal blueprint on this matter,” he said.
Mr Namwamba criticised the Opposition for peddling lies on the legitimacy of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s October 26 win, saying that it is only the law that can determine what is legitimate or not.
He termed the claims “cheap, baseless, misleading and lacking merit, and lame in content”.
“The language of the so called ‘political legitimacy’ reflects both intellectual dishonesty and immaturity. The victory of President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto is legitimate in the full sense of the word; in law, in politics, on earth and in the heavens. We wish the President and his deputy a happy inauguration day next week,” said Mr Namwamba.
Council of Professionals of Kenya members Prof Tom Namwamba, Ms Florence Kajuju, Mr Danson Mungatana, Prof Peter Kagwanja, Mr Ekwee Ethuro and Ms Priscilla Nyokabi at a meeting at the Intercontinental Hotel, Nairobi County, on November 22, 2017. PHOTO | COLLINS OMULO | NATION MEDIA GROUP
The former legislator has urged National Super Alliance leaders to respect the decision of the Supreme Court that upheld President Kenyatta’s win and also respect the sanctity of life and property of the people of Kenya.
“A key principle of democracy is respect for institutions. While we may not agree with the decision made by our institutions such as the Supreme Court’s rulings, we must all the times respect their decisions,” said the former MP.
At the same time, former Senate speaker Ekwee Ethuro said that the council had proposed for a law to make voting compulsory to get rid of questions of legitimacy.
“We have proposed for voting to be made compulsory so that some areas stop taking advantage of not voting and making that an excuse for illegitimacy,” Mr Ethuro said.
Former Kiambu Woman Representative Priscilla Nyokabi urged the President to have the face of Kenya when forming his Cabinet to bring unity to the country.
“We call on the President to have the face of Kenya in his Cabinet but this call does not mean that Opposition politicians be part of the Cabinet as that will kill democracy in the country,” she said.
Mr Danson Mungatana urged President Kenyatta to focus on unifying the country while also reiterating the call for empowered dialogue to tackle the issues of exclusivity and empowerment within the law.
Mr Mungatana’s sentiments were supported by former Meru Woman Representative Florence Kajuju who reiterated the calls for dialogue.
But she said dialogue should only be carried out among representatives of the people in institutions such as the Senate and the National Assembly and not between President Kenyatta and Nasa leader Raila Odinga.
“We are looking forward to more responsible, mature and patriotic public dialogues to heal the nation and empower its people in an inclusive manner,” Ms Kajuju said.