Siaya becomes first to adopt people’s assembly motion

Wednesday November 8 2017

Siaya County Assembly

Siaya Governor Cornel Rasanga (seated left) listens as Speaker George Okode addresses the county assembly. The House has become the first to adopt the people’s assembly motion being pushed by opposition Nasa leaders. PHOTO | NELCON | ODHIAMBO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By NELCON ODHIAMBO
More by this Author

The Siaya County Assembly has adopted a proposal to set up a people’s assembly in the county as a way of forcing a repeat presidential election in February 2018.

The motion introduced for debate by Chief Whip Johannes Andiego said it is aimed at correcting the mistakes committed by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) in the August 8 and October 26 presidential elections.

Mr Andiego added that this will give Siaya residents an opportunity to discuss other contentious issues regarding the way they will be governed as well as decide their political future, being the first county assembly to approve the formation of a people’s assembly.

SECESSION

During the debate on the motion which had been publicised on Tuesday by opposition leaders, the MCAs also discussed the possibility of secession in a bid to deliver the locals from what they argued was constant oppression by successive governments whose administrations had side-lined them.

Mr Andiego added that the just-concluded election cannot give President Uhuru Kenyatta powers to govern Kenyans despite his commitment to retain power, arguing that the sovereign powers lies with the people.

“The Jubilee government is keen on governing the country by force to an extent of using its tyranny of numbers in the National Assembly to introduce draconian and oppressive laws and we will not accept that to happen,” said Mr Andiego.

The motion was seconded by Mr Sylvester Madialo (Usonga MCA) who said that the Constitution allows Kenyans to directly engage on how the country is being governed if the elected leaders fail to perform their mandate.

OTHER COUNTIES

Mr Madialo asked the MCAs from the remaining 46 counties to adopt the formation of people’s assemblies in their regions in a bid to transform the country.

“The 2010 constitution clearly indicates that each and every Kenyan has an equal stake in the country. It also indicates that God is the only supreme being in the constitution followed by the people who donate their powers to the elected leaders and not the other way,” said Mr Madialo.

Similar sentiments were shared by Central Alego MCA Leonard Oriaro who said that the adoption of the people’s assembly would address the challenges facing the Luo nation and other marginalised communities.

“A time has come for the marginalised communities to seize the opportunity and redeem [themselves] from oppression they suffered under successive autocratic regimes,” said Mr Oriaro.

AMENDMENTS

Booker Washington Omondi (North Uyoma) faulted the Jubilee legislators for amending and passing Bills which he argued are aimed at serving their masters’ interests at the expense of majority Kenyans.

“I am saddened that the government is treating us like second-class citizens, yet we are part and parcel of the country and need to be treated with the respect we deserve. We are not part of them since we did not participate in the purported presidential election,” said Mr Omondi.

The Bill awaiting assent by Governor Cornel Rasanga recommended the formation of a people’s assembly to discuss and determine the affairs of the country, the constitution of a special college to observe the people’s assembly, strengthening of independent bodies such as the police, IEBC, and the National Intelligence Service (NIS).

Other issues include setting up a “truly independent” electoral commission which will conduct fresh elections before or on February 9, 2018, review of the 2010 constitution by reframing the structure of the executive, parliament and devolution and reinforce concrete measures for promotion of inclusivity as well as questioning the constitutionality and legitimacy of the President Kenyatta presidency.