A section of Jubilee leaders, mostly those allied to Deputy President William Ruto are now upset with Raila’s growing influence in government. This comes after Raila, accompanied by Navy Commanders and Transport CS James Macharia gave an order to stop the dredging of Likoni Channel in order for the recovery efforts to be fast. The MPs are now questioning who have bestowed upon Raila such powers yet he is supposed to be in Opposition.
Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua, a key ally of Ruto, called Raila’s attempt to instruct bureaucrats as the “height of absurdity”.Gachagua spoke in Kiamugaka Methodist Church and repeated the same at Mujwa Catholic Church in Central Imenti, yesterday.
On Saturday, while visiting the Likoni channel where a woman and her child drowned after their car plunged into the ocean, Raila ordered dredging works stopped to enable those involved in the recovery efforts to work without interference.Dredging works are ongoing to widen the channel in order to allow bigger ships to dock at the Mombasa port.
Currently at the scene of the unfortunate tragedy that occurred at the Likoni Channel for a brief on the ongoing rescue operation. Stringent measures must be put in place to ensure that such an incident does not occur again and we pray to God to grant strength to those affected. pic.twitter.com/ODXvQMlos9
— Raila Odinga (@RailaOdinga) October 5, 2019
“I want to give an order here that the dredging works stop immediately so that those who are working here can work without interference,” Raila, who is the AU High Representative on Infrastructure, said on Saturday evening.
“He is still simply an Opposition leader who we defeated in the last election and has just been brought near the fireplace to warm himself. We are asking public servants to ignore such orders even if put in writing. You will only have yourself to blame if you follow the order,” Gachagua added.
RAILA ODINGA aide Philip Etale confirms the orders against drenching, as issued by the former Prime Minister, have been fully complied with even as some Jubilee MPs including Rigathi Gachagua complained that the opposition doyen has no power to issue orders to govt officials pic.twitter.com/Ids5Xl0abJ
— Radio KhendoFM, 107.9 (@RadioKhendoFM) October 7, 2019
Gachagua’s comments were supported by Kipkelion West MP Hillary Kosgey:
“I am surprised. He can only ask Government to stop the dredging. I don’t know where he (Raila) got the authority. We are yet to know what the Handshake means. Initially we thought it was about uniting people, but it appears it’s all about power.”
Belgut MP Nelson Koech added: “Instructions are given when you hold a specific position. The directives should be dismissed since he has no authority. He thinks he has been bestowed powers by the handshake, which is extremely dangerous. This issue must be stopped lest it reaches a stage where he will issue orders the President will be uncomfortable with.”
National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi said Raila was entitled to give an opinion, but had no powers to issue directives to Government officers.
“He can express his opinion as an African Union Envoy for Infrastructure. Since he holds no position in Government, I will take it that he was expressing his opinion, perhaps as an engineer also. What I don’t know is whether the instruction was based on some advice from experts or it was a spur of the moment,” Muturi said.