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Raila: Why I’m against having Cabinet Secretaries appearing before Parliament

By Sammy Waweru January 10th, 2023 2 min read

Azimio la Umoja – One Kenya Alliance leader Raila Odinga has opposed President William Ruto’s proposal to have Cabinet Secretaries appearing before the National Assembly for their performance accountability.

Addressing during last week’s retreat for Cabinet Secretaries and Principal Secretaries at Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club in Laikipia County, President Ruto reiterated his recommendation to have Cabinet Secretaries appear before Parliament.

President Ruto said the move will put the Cabinet Secretaries to task on discharging duties assigned to them by the government.

The proposal nevertheless has come under sharp criticism from the opposition, who have termed it as an ill-informed decision.

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Responding to the president, Mr Odinga has said having the Cabinet Secretaries appear before the House for accountability, is an issue that requires public participation.

“You cannot just order Cabinet Secretaries to appear in Parliament without following due procedure. That has to be debated and decided by the people of Kenya,” Mr Odinga said on Sunday.

The president, Mr Odinga stated, should honour the Constitution and that any decision involving legislation must first be approved by Kenyans, before implementation.

The opposition leader also criticized the newly created Prime Cabinet Secretary position.

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Amani National Congress (ANC) leader, Mr Musalia Mudavadi was appointed to hold the position whose roles, according to President Ruto, entails assisting the president and his deputy in the coordination and supervision of government ministries and state departments.

“Why should you create a position and call it Prime Cabinet Secretary? Just name it the office of the Prime Minister. We had recommended the same through Building Bridges Initiative (BBI),” Mr Odinga said.

The Azimio la Umoja leader also hinted on reviving the BBI, which proposed to review of the Constitution.

However the BBI, which was initiated by the former president, Uhuru Kenyatta and Mr Odinga, was shot down the Supreme Court which termed it as unlawful, on the grounds that such constitutional reforms should have been initiated by citizens and not a sitting head of state.

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