Hope at last as MPs set for bipartisan retreat in coast
Kenya appears to be well on the healing path following the highly-polarizing 2017 General Elections that sharply split the country down the middle.
In one of the most symbolic reconciliatory moves yet, all 349 Members of Parliament will starting this Sunday embark on a five-day post-election retreat at the coast, setting the stage for a truce among the leaders who were at the heart of last year’s political hostilities.
Notably, most legislators – particularly those aligned to Jubilee and NASA – have not been seeing eye to eye in the aftermath of the October 26 presidential election, with some going to the extent of engaging in fistfights.
Majority of NASA MPs failed to show up for the inauguration of the 12th Parliament by President Uhuru Kenyatta and even boycotted the vetting of nominees to the positions of Cabinet Secretaries, Permanent Secretaries and ambassadors amid a firm declaration not to recognize the Jubilee administration.
But in a highly-symbolic message ahead of the seminar to be held at the Pride Inn Paradise Hotel in Mombasa, John Mbadi, the vocal Leader of Minority in the National Assembly, points at the need for legislators to let go of the hostilities triggered by the 2017 polls and put the nation ahead of daily politicking.
“Coming almost immediately after a hotly-contested General Election which was followed by an emotive phase, the timing of this post-election seminar could not have been better. It will particularly give us an opportunity to hold candid conversations that will help us put the nation ahead of daily politics,” Mbadi says in an advert published in the local dailies.
Aden Duale, the Leader of Majority in the National Assembly says the retreat presents the MPs with a perfect forum to share ideas and enhance capacity on how to execute key mandates such as budget making and the vetting of public officers.
Signs of reduced hostilities and synergy between both sides of the political divide were evident as early as last week when a section of NASA MPs participated in the vetting of some of the PSs and envoys.
In a statement indicating the opposition’s growing recognition of the Jubilee government, Kalonzo Musyoka, the NASA coalition’s second-in command, on Monday lauded President Kenyatta’s newly-appointed Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Keriako Tobiko, for his emphatic countrywide ban on logging.