News 2008


Join opposition, lawyers ask Kalonzo

March 5, 2008


By Lucianne Limo

Lawyers want the Vice-President, Mr Kalonzo Musyoka, to step out of Government and be the Leader of the Official Opposition.

The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) Chairman, Mr Okong’o Omogeni, and East Africa Law Society (EALS) President, Mr Tom Ojienda, said Kalonzo should be in the opposition for the interest of Kenyans.

The lawyers said ODM-Kenya and small parties should form a coalition and play the role of the Opposition to provide checks and balances in government.

"The current coalition between PNU and ODM overtakes any prior arrangements that existed between President Kibaki and Kalonzo," Ojienda said on telephone.

He added, "A structured opposition to act as a check against Government excesses is needed."

Omogeni said the position of the Leader of Opposition is provided for in the Constitution, adding that Kalonzo should not let Kenyans down, but occupy it. "The position is in the Constitution with its own remuneration, an official car, security, a personal assistant and a functional office besides a seat reserved for him in Parliament," he said.

Omogeni stressed the need for a vibrant opposition in Parliament, saying it was not good for everyone to be in Government in a multi-party set-up.

He said the team amending the Constitution should put a clause that if there are parties with less than 30 MPs, they should officially be the Opposition.

"The party with the next highest number of MPs should automatically occupy the Opposition benches and be at liberty to form a coalition with other small parties," he said.

They expressed disappointment that there was no Leader of the Opposition to occupy the position of Chairman of Public Investment Committee and Public Accounts Committee.

"The two committees are supposed to scrutinise government expenditure and ensure there is no corruption," Omogeni said.