Mudavadi speaks out over Uhuru recent changes
Mukalo Kwayera @kwayeram
President Uhuru Kenyatta “is perfectly within his mandate” to make changes in his government if he feels those he has appointed are not delivering to his expectations, Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi has said.
Mudavadi told Uhuru to remain alert to the many challenges facing the country and outline the most effective ways to deal with them.
“Uhuru must keep his eye on the ball. He is between a rock and a hard place. His priorities must be absolutely right.
The country is faced with numerous challenges which require his attention. He must remain steadfast and not allow himself to be distracted by sideshows,” the former vice-president said.
On the current wrangles which have divided the ruling Jubilee Party, Mudavadi said Uhuru was justified to make changes that would enable him to focus his attention on the many hurdles the country is confronted with.
“His Jubilee Party is the one in power; as its leader he has every right to drive it in the direction he thinks is most suitable for him to achieve his agenda.
For the President to fulfill his promises to the citizens, he must expect maximum co-operation from his party and his officers in government,” Mudavadi said.
In an Interview with the People Daily yesterday, Mudavadi said he supported the President in so far as the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, corruption, the biting economic crisis, invasion of desert locusts and the floods menace are concerned.
However, Mudavadi cautioned that throwing his support behind Uhuru’s efforts in confronting challenges facing the country did not mean he was ready to abandon his party and join the President’s Jubilee coalition.
On Monday, the ruling party made controversial changes in its Senate leadership, dropping Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen as Leader of Majority and Nakuru’s Susan Kihika as Majority Chief Whip, and replaced them with Samuel Poghisio of West Pokot and Irungu Kang’ata (Murang’a).
Murkomen and Kihika are strong supporters of Deputy President William Ruto whose relationship with the Head of State has been deteriorating in recent days.
The senators’ removal from the House positions is viewed as an upper-cut from the President, a move that has elicited noisy protests from the DP’s backers.
Mudavadi stated that whereas what happened was a party affair, Uhuru as the leader has a mandate to shepherd Jubilee in the direction he thinks pays dividends to Kenyan people.
On the notion that he or his party stand to benefit from the whip-cracking in Jubilee, Mudavadi said: “What the country needs now is unity of purpose and not unity for power-grab.
The country needs to unite behind Uhuru. However, one does not need to be in government to offer constructive advice or criticism.
“Migrating from the opposition to government now does not make sense at all. Whereas coalitions are a constitutional right, the timing is not right.”
Mudavadi said the political class should not be sending a message to the electorate that all they are interested in is power.
“The people out there are suffering a lot. The economy is in a shambles. Majority of Kenyans are finding it hard to put food on the table.
Covid-19 has come in with a myriad of other challenges. This is not the time to think about coalitions and power-sharing but a time to help look for solutions to all these problems.”
The ANC leader said suggested that Uhuru forms a post-coronavirus economic recovery council to explore ways of resuscitating the economy after the pandemic.
He disapproved formation of a government of National Unity, saying such a move would be retrogressive and an economic “misadventure” as it would not address pertinent issues such as reconstruction of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and filling the position of Auditor-General.
“What I have been hearing (Ukur) Yatani, the National Treasury Cabinet Secretary repeatedly say is that the country has no money.
Kenya is heavily indebted and he has to keep on moving from one point to another every day in search of funds to run the country.
Where then will he get the money to remunerate an expanded Executive in the name of GNU?”
Mudavadi said though some of his co-principals in the National Super Alliance (Nasa) had indicated they were ready to form a post-election coalition with Jubilee, none of them had talked to him about the matter and neither would he be willing to entertain such an idea, arguing that it negates the principles of democracy.
“What position will someone like James Orengo (Senate Minority Leader) or John Mbadi (National Assembly Leader of Minority) be holding if they cross the floor to join government?
Who will chair parliamentary organs like the Public Accounts Committee and Public Investments Committee in the two Houses?”