25 Oct 2013
Opening Remarks by Hon. Martha Karua during the meeting with Elected and Nominated MPs and MCAs on how the Party can be strengthened. with the Theme:" Empowered leaders for Effective and Efficient Service Delivery".
Good morning everyone, and a big welcome to you all. It is an honor and pleasure to have you here today for this induction workshop.
A majority of you have travelled long distances to be here and have sacrificed this time out of your very busy schedules. We appreciate each one of you for honoring our invite.
This being the first meeting after the March general elections that brings together our elected representatives of the people, allow me on behalf of the party to formally congratulate you for winning your seats, and others for clinching the nominations to be the Party representative in your Counties.
You swarm against the current and succeeded which is testimony to your strength and skills in the art of campaign and your personal attributes. For our nominated members, your loyalty and service to the party stood out and won you your nomination.
For all of you and indeed for all who wish to vie for public office, we need a party behind us, a party to sponsor us to run! Narc Kenya was a strong Party and fielded Many Candidates in the last general elections. We are nearly wiped out, But thank God for those of you who fought and emerged victorious even in these unusual circumstances. You are therefore the torch bearers of the party together with your nominated colleagues. You have the responsibility together with the rest of us to grow the Party and help it claim its space once again and achieve its ultimate dream of leading Kenya, yes you heard me right, an opportunity to lead Kenya and implement is policies to grow this beautiful country.
We are here today to get acquainted with one another, to share our experiences and as a party to carry out our mandate by supporting you with necessary information in your auspicious journey as representatives of the people. The March elections ushered in a new system of government. We moved from the Parliamentary to the Presidential system of government.
We will endeavor in this workshop to highlight the key features of a Presidential system of government and how it differs from the Parliamentary system which we discarded . Suffice it to say for now that in a Presidential system there is separation of powers. The Executive is separated and distinct from the legislature and this way the legislature is able, or should be able to better play its oversight role over the executive. As you will notice, Cabinet Secretaries are appointed from outside Parliament unlike previously where Ministers were appointed from amongst Members of Parliament. In our previous set up Ministers could lobby Members of Parliament as colleagues whenever they came under scrutiny. Is the presidential system, our current system free from this influence peddling? What is our short experience? Has oversight of our Parliament improved? What of the County Assemblies? How well is the Presidential system taking place? What role can each one of you play to better ground this new system for the benefit of the people? What about your oath to protect and defend the Constitution? How well are you arguing out your mandate?
The County Assembly plays an oversight role in the County government same way the National Parliament oversights the National government. You are indeed the Parliament of the County. You have a say in budgetary allocations and can cause the County government to pay attention to what you feel are priority areas and to adhere to the Constitution on equitable allocation / distribution of resources. You can initiate measures that can cause the National government to be accountable on matters of your Counties natural resources and other issues of national importance. Above all you must make your Governor and County government accountable.
Being in the minority you must acquire / cultivate skills to lobby your colleagues to your side on issues of common interest to get your agenda to pass. Each elected member requires to fulfill their election pledges and to have something to show at the term end. So you do have common interest with your colleagues. You may need to initiate motions or bills on issues of public interest.
How do you carry the Party agenda on board? Our key issues are social justice and fight against Corruption and Impunity. Issues everyone pays lip service to. It is therefore easy to bring such issues on board and to lobby for support. You don't have to carry a banner this is your party agenda coz this is likely to envy you bipartisan support. Just move it as something necessary and good for the people.
As opposition we have a critical role to play that of keeping the government on its toes. Playing our role well will not only help the Country but will earn the Party a place in the next elections. You have a very heavy responsibility to discharge and we are confident you are equal to it. We look forward to working with you and leading NARC Kenya to victory!