Opposition leaders Bonny Khalwale, Johnstone Muthama and James Orengo during a rally at Kibera in Nairobi yesterday.
Majority Leader Aden Duale yesterday told off Cord leaders over their use of foul language in reaction to President Uhuru Kenyatta’s decision to authorise the payment of Sh1.4billion Anglo Leasing contract as well as delegating more powers to the county commissioners. Duale’s sentiments and disgust were echoed by Starehe MP Maina Kamanda, Thika’s Alice Ng’ang’a, Kimani Ichungw’ah (Kikuyu), Jude Njomo (Kiambu), and Anna Nyokabi (Nyeri).
Duale who is in Dubai told Cord that opposition is not merely resorting to abusive language but providing checks and balances to the government. He said: “ as the Majority Leader, I support the President on the creation of the new structure as well as authorising the payments of Anglo leasing.” On impeachment threats against the President by Boni Khalwale, Duale told the Kakamega senator that such a motion starts with the National Assembly and reminded him that his party has negligible members as opposed to the Jubilee with over 165 MPs.
Their statements came moments after the opposition had threatened to start impeachment procedures against President Uhuru for allegedly authorising payments to “ unknown individuals” and companies behind the Anglo Leasing companies. The burst of insolence started off with Gem Member of Parliament Jakoyo Midiwo warning the Cabinet secretary for Treasury Henry Rotich that should he go a head and pay Anglo Leasing, he would be held personally liable.
Midiwo told Rotich he should not act “to quench Uhuru’s political thirst” by paying the Sh1.4 billion as he will be held personally responsible for authorizing any illegal payment. Midiwo who incessantly used inflammatory language, said Cord will not relent until Rotich is behind bars should he make the payments and in an uncharacteristically blunt bunter lacking in any modicum of civility, even for opposition player, Midiwo said: “We are acting on the best interest of Kenyans this is not the President’s money, this is taxpayers money which any expenditure made should be transparent”.
President Uhuru authorised the immediate payment of the controversial Anglo Leasing debts, saying further delays was putting the country’s economy at massive risk. Khalwale said giving more powers to county commissioner, is illegal as the process should have been subjected to public participation. But Speaking in Kikuyu town, Kiambu county after he had attended a thanks giving service at Alliance High School, President said he will not to rescind his order on the county commissioners.
Responding to criticism of the executive order that gave county commissioners wide ranging powers, the President restated that the new order is meant to serve people, not to defeat devolution. He said the administrators cannot be equated by the much maligned provincial administration of yesteryear. “The reformed administrators will not knock on your door asking for your chicken, they are there to offer services,” he said.
The President said any changes on how the county commissioners will work can only be done after he leaves office and took issues with Cord leaders for opposing the county commissioners. “They are opposing the structure we have put in place, saying its a creation of the old provincial administrators and in the process they are hinting on the system they would have put in place had they been in power,” he said. Uhuru warned leaders against using public platforms to preach hatred.
“We have freedom of speech, but it should not be used to interfere with us who want to work or divide Kenyans,” he said. “I am not able to know what is happening in every neighbourhood yet I am in Nairobi. Kenya is too big to govern alone, that is why we have the county commissioners,” he said. But at Kibera’s Kamukunji grounds, Khalwale said the President is orchestrating his own reasons for impeachment and we will not hesitate to do that because time is now ripe, ” said Khalwale. Siaya Senator James Orengo claimed that the coming of powerful provincial administrators is a scheme by the President “to rig the 2017 elections”.
“The current government is Kanu government that has been rebranded a clear plot to rig the 2017 elections”claimed Orengo, who also told the President to sack the Attorney General for allegedly misleading him on the Anglo Leasing payments. Those present in yesterday’s rally included Senators James Orengo (Siaya), Hassan Omar (Mombasa), Johnstone Muthama (Machakos), Bonny Khalwale, nominated senator Elizabeth Ongoro, MPs included Junet Mohammed (Suna East), Midiwo (Gem), Tom Kajwang (Ruaraka) and Opiyo Wandayi (Ugunja).
Midiwo, who singularly resorted to using the most unsavory words said the opposition would not tolerate any kind of bad governance from the Jubilee administration and would protect the Constitution at all times. “We must know who the President wants to use taxpayers money to pay, if we are not keen on this we will, realise later that he is actually paying himself,” said Midiwo. “We will not sleep until Uhuru sleeps, we cant tolerate bad governance and misuse of public resources by the Jubilee administration”Midiwo said.
Ongoro faulted the government for ruling the country in what she termed total disregard of the Constitution, warning that such act would attract peaceful demonstration across the country. But on his part, President Uhuru yesterday insisted there will be no changes in the role of county commissioners as recently restructured. He was accompanied by area Governor William Kabogo, Senate Majority leader Prof Kindiki Kithure and MPs drawn from the area.