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“Raila is no Longer the Opposition Leader” – Aukot

Thirdway Alliance Kenya party leader, Ekuru Aukot, has stirred the political pot by claiming that Minority leader Opiyo Wandayi is the official leader of the opposition, contrary to the widely held belief that Raila Odinga holds this position.

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Aukot argued that the Kenyan constitution formally recognizes the leader of the minority in Parliament as the official leader of the opposition.

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Ekuru Aukot. PHOTO/Courtesy
Ekuru Aukot. PHOTO/Courtesy

During his appearance on Citizen tv’s daybreak, he said, “We need to correct some certain anomalies in this country. The official leader of the opposition is Opiyo Wandayi. That is the leader of the minority in Parliament, and that’s what was intended in the constitution.”

Aukot went on to express his concerns about the prevailing political narrative in Kenya, which he believes excessively centers around Raila Odinga and President William Ruto, detracting from the nation’s essential governance duties.

He questioned, “Can we move away from personalities? Who is Raila Odinga? Yes, he is the party leader of ODM, but why are we reducing our country to Ruto-Raila talk?”

He also pointed out the lack of substantive debates in Parliament, saying, “Kenya Kwanza is taking itself back to 2022 instead of governing and administering this country, and also the opposition side is failing because what motion has been brought on the floor of Parliament by the opposition? We don’t see any debates yet that is the forum to do so; what we see is just sideshows.”

Azimio leader Raila Odinga, former President Uhuru Kenyatta and National Assembly minority leader Opiyo Wandayi at the SKM Centre on July 28, 2023.[Image: AZIMIO]
Azimio leader Raila Odinga, former President Uhuru Kenyatta and National Assembly minority leader Opiyo Wandayi at the SKM Centre on July 28, 2023.[Image/AZIMIO]

Aukot didn’t stop there; he raised concerns about the creation of the office of the Prime Cabinet Secretary, held by Musalia Mudavadi, stating that it was unlawful and duplicated the roles of Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua.

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Saying, “If you look at the constitution, the powers of the president and the duties of the Deputy President are exactly what they are describing Musalia Mudavadi as.”

The establishment of the Prime Cabinet Secretary’s office has sparked a contentious debate between the opposition and the government, with the opposition now demanding the creation of an office for the Leader of the Official Opposition.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga. [Photo/Courtesy]
Opposition leader Raila Odinga. [Photo/Courtesy]

This matter is one of the five major issues currently under discussion in ongoing bi-partisan talks aimed at finding a solution to a long-standing political stalemate.

Earlie this year, Aukot emphasized the need for political education in Kenya, saying, “We need to shift away from the talk of civic education to political education. We need to ask Kenyans what they understand about the politics of their country, especially on the choice of leaders and what to expect from an elected leader.”

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He firmly maintained that even the discussion of creating an office for the Opposition leader was indicative of a lack of political education in the country.

“We have not understood our constitution very well. If we understood our Constitution today, we should be expecting Minority leader Opiyo Wandayi to table an alternative policy document or motion to that of the government of the day,” Aukot concluded.

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