Why I will not appoint opposition members to the cabinet, President William Ruto explains

President William Ruto at Statehouse in Nairobi. [David Gichuru, Standard]

President William Ruto has ruled out the possibility of appointing opposition members to his Cabinet.

This, he says, is a move aimed at keeping the government in check by the opposition.

"We have accepted that we are not going to appoint any member of the opposition to government because we want a vibrant opposition and an opposition that will keep us in check," the president said on Friday during a Kenya Kwanza parliamentarians retreat.

Ruto said Opposition plays a crucial role in the development and democracy of a country, and as such, their part is appreciated.

"Competitors have said they will provide oversight of our government. We welcome the decision; we believe that the efficiency of any government is also dependent on how much we are kept on our toes," he added.

House Leadership

He further expressed optimism about the Alliance's numbers, as Kenya Kwanza and Azimio battle for leadership positions in the National Assembly and Senate.

"I have heard them [Azimio] say they have some numbers. Surely, if you cannot even raise a candidate for Senate speaker, what numbers do you really have?" Ruto posed.

On Friday during the Azimio Parliamentary Group meeting in Machakos County, co-principal and Narc-Kenya leader Martha Karua asked the coalition's affiliated MPs to unite as they chose representatives for the majority leader and chief whip positions.

"We are the largest party in Parliament, we deserve to have the majority leader and whip position. You need to work together as a team because if you are not united, you'll be made mincemeat," Karua said.

Last week, the William Ruto-led alliance took control of the National Assembly and Senate when Moses Wetang'ula and Amason Kingi clinched the Speaker positions.

Kingi got 46 out of the maximum 67 votes to be declared the winner in a first-round victory. His closest competitor, Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka, who had submitted his candidature for the Senate Speaker seat, withdrew from the race.

Absconding Duty

Speaking to the newly-sworn in legislators in Naivasha, the president also warned the Kenya Kwanza affiliated MPs against absconding duty and skipping parliamentary sessions.

He said that a huge responsibility had been bestowed upon them by Kenyans, which they could not forfeit.

"This position is a premium stage. Why look for a premium stage and then abscond? It is not a market for potatoes...It is somewhere to articulate issues important to your constituents, your party, and to develop this country," said Ruto.

The Standard
Subscribe for the KES1999 KES999 offer today!