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Wajackoyah issues demand over Opposition leader office

by kenya-tribune

Roots Party leader Prof George Wajackoyah has introduced a fresh demand over the plan to create office for an Opposition leader.

The 2022 presidential candidate now wants the proposed office to be split into two; with one going to Azimio La Umoja-One Kenya Coalition party leader Raila Odinga and the other reserved for him by virtue of his placing in the 2022 presidential poll.

Speaking at his residence in Karen, Prof Wajackoyah said Mr Odinga will now be known as the chief opposition leader while he will be just an opposition leader without the “chief” title.

Mr Wajackoyah placed third in the August elections trailing both Mr Odinga and President William Ruto by millions of votes.

However, he claimed the presidential election was marred with irregularities hence his poor showing.

He argued that the creation of an official office for the leader of the Opposition is a welcome move, adding that it should be funded if the official opposition leader, in this case the former premier, received almost equal votes as President Ruto.

“The intention to have the office of the Official opposition is a welcome move but it should be split into two to allow Raila be the chief Opposition leader while I become another opposition leader,” said Prof Wajackoyah.

According to some of the proposals in the Bill that are yet to be publicised, the leader of the official opposition will be allowed to identify and appoint “such staff as shall be necessary for the execution of the said office, whose remuneration, benefits and allowances shall be drawn from the Exchequer subject to the Salaries and Remuneration Commission.”

It also seeks to amend Article 260 of the Constitution to include the office of the leader of opposition under the category of ‘state office’. 

The office, to be funded by the Exchequer, the Azimio team proposes, will have “all such powers and discretion necessary to solicit and mobilise for funding from all sources, including donor funding, to supplement its budgetary allocations to finance its various activities”.

However, he said President Ruto should not bend the law by entrenching the new office in the Political Parties Act but rather amend the Constitution through a popular initiative.

“I fully support the creation of the office of the official opposition. But President Ruto cannot bend the law at his will. This is a good amendment that must be through a popular initiative because it touches on the structure of the governance,” he said.

Should the law be changed, the official Office of the Opposition Leader, will have staff duly paid and facilitated by taxpayers and the Dr Ruto-led administration will be consulting to see whether its holder could be allowed to address Parliament. 

The Roots party boss, meanwhile, faulted President William Ruto for initiating a process to kick out four embattled Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commissioners without following the law.

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