The recent announcement by Wiper Leader Kalonzo Musyoka that the Azimio Coalition will soon announce a shadow cabinet complete with a budget has confused both within and outside the Coalition. Sources divulged to The Weekly Vision that the matter is threatening to tear the Coalition apart as the leaders are yet to agree on the nominees and how to share the slots amongst partner parties within the Coalition.
President William Ruto’s cabinet has 22 members meaning the opposition can only appoint 22 shadow cabinet secretaries. But even as Azimio continues with consultations, sources say the government might not allow such positions because they are not supported by the constitution and in reference to Kalonzo’s statement that the coalition will also unveil a budget for its cabinet.
Among those who had been promised cabinet slots are Kalonzo Musyoka who would have become Chief Minister. If he becomes the shadow Chief Minister then he will be the one to hold CS Musalia Mudavadi accountable
The big question, therefore, is whether the budget will be financed by the exchequer or constituent parties will raise funds to finance the budget.
However, the opposition has insisted on naming a shadow cabinet which they claim will play a significant role in ensuring that the current administration is held accountable for its actions.
While the majority of Kenyans are in support of the proposal to reintroduce the position of Leader of the Official Opposition in Kenyan in keeping the government of the day in check, it could however not see the light of the day as the current constitution does not provide for it. The current constitution provides for the leader of the minority who is the official opposition leader in parliament.
Back to the looming fallout in Azimio, naming the 22-member cabinet has been a hard nut to crack since, in the run-up to the last general elections, Mr Raila Odinga had promised his lieutenant’s cabinet positions had he won the presidency. What is not clear is whether the composition of the shadow cabinet must be members of parliament or they can be appointed from non-MPs. But the big problem in Azimio is how to share the slots. Among those who had been promised cabinet slots are Kalonzo Musyoka who would have become Chief Minister. If he becomes the shadow Chief Minister then he will be the one to hold CS Musalia Mudavadi accountable.
Narc-Kenya leader Martha Karua who was Raila’s running mate was the Constitutional Affairs CS designate unfortunately, the Ruto administration does not have that portfolio. Sources say she could be the shadow Attorney General. Former Mombasa Governor Ali Hasan Joho was named CS Lands while Peter Munya was also named Agriculture CS designate. Former CS Defence had also been promised a cabinet slot and might find his way into the shadow cabinet. Former Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya was named CS Finance designate.
Interestingly, all the designated CSs are not in parliament and should it be declared that the shadow cabinet must be members of parliament then they are headed for political cold for five years. Assuming that Azimio has to share the cabinet slots proportionally and according to their parliamentary strength, with 167 MPs. ODM won the majority seats at 85 seats and is entitled to 50% of the seats (11 slots).
Jubilee Party won 29 seats and is entitled to 17% and is entitled to 4 slots while Wiper party won 25 seats (14%) and is entitled to 3 slots.
The remaining four slots should go to DAP-K which won 5 seats and, Kanu (5 seats) with each party getting 2 slots.