Kenya: Cord boycotts

Kenya: Cord boycotts

In Kenya, the opposition party Cord has decided to pull out of the house committees until it is given chairmanship and majority members watchdog committees. All their members have been recalled from already established parliamentary committees. This will continue as long as jubilee insists on having the majority bending the muscles. Cord has been campaigning to be given the opportunity to head Public Investment Committee (PIC) and Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

Members of Cord do not accept how the government can be its own watchdog. On Monday, accusations were traded that Cord members were planning to make an amendment of standing orders last January. Today, members of Cord were having a meeting at a Panafric Hotel in Nairobi. In attendance were former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and former Vice President Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka. This is a strategy as they work on the deadline issued by the speaker, to have all the committees by Tuesday afternoon. This deadline was set last week on Thursday before the house adjourned. The two groups are meant to sit and agree on a solution to remove this stalemate. During the meeting Cord accused Jubilee of using unorthodox ways so as to frustrate legislative agendas of the house. Cord past warning to the public that the democracy that they have fought for years is currently under threat.

In the past this composition was clearly stated in the standing orders but currently that is not the case. Currently it is just stated that the committees should be formed from the party strengths. This clearly shows the majority takes the deal. In the past the post was directly given to the opposition party. This worked perfectly well because ideally the committees are meant to keep the government on check. It was the prime duty for the opposition to ensure that the public funds are well used.

Ideally when this order was been set the two parties were to elect representatives into these committees. In it all, the parties need to come to an agreement to spare the people the agony of these disagreements. They need to come up with a formula on how they are going to share representations and leadership of all other parliamentary committees. Democracy must be served but amicably, both to the majority and the minority. The members of parliament should learn the art of giving and taking to make work easier for them in the future.

Written By: Maureen Nkubitu
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