Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Official Statement of the CORD Parliamentary Group Meeting of 29th October 2013


We members of the CORD Parliamentary Group, Governors Summit and National Executive Committees meeting at Orange House on the 29th day of October, 2013 wish to make the following statement:

We congratulate Gov. Cornel Rasanga and the Honorable Stephen Mule for recapturing the Siaya Gubernatorial and Matungulu parliamentary seats respectively in the just concluded by elections.As a Coalition we also commiserate with our brother Hon. KalembeNdile for losing the Kibwezi West seat.

We also thank our members and supporters in the areas where by-Elections were held for the many votes they gave our candidates. We urge them to remain steadfast and do the same in the upcoming by Elections slated for December this year.

We shall continue being united as a Coalition in the forthcoming by-election scheduled for December 2013 in Bungoma, LungaLunga, NyaribariChache, BomachogeBorabu and the vacant County Wards across the country. We ask our members and supporters to remain peaceful and show political maturity during the campaigns.

The Kenyan Government with the help of some member states of the African Union (AU) has requested for a deferral of the two cases before the ICC by invoking Article 16 of the Rome Statute. It’s to be noted that the Rome Statute itself has provided this specific mechanisms for purposes of a deferral. This factor should be born in mind by those calling for a withdrawal from the ICC or the repeal of the International Crimes Act. For the record, CORD has not changed its position on this matter and we are prepared to have a structured and constructive engagement with both the Government and the International Community within the context of the Rome Statute to ensure that victims get justice and impunity is punished.

CORD wishes again to condole and extend its sympathies to the victims of the Westgate Mall attack. Our view is that in handling both the attack and its aftermath elements within the security forces mishandled the operations. We note that the KDF has admitted that there was looting by some soldiers. We call upon the President to immediately establish an independent judicial commission of inquiry to investigate and establish the circumstances surrounding the planning and execution of the attack and the subsequent conduct of Public officials and institutions including the Disciplined Forces and the NSIS. CORD as the official opposition should be involved in making recommendations regarding the persons to be appointed as Commissioners.

Lately we have seen an unlawful and unconstitutional invasion of the freedom of the media and the freedom of expression. These two freedoms are the basic pillar and foundation of an open and democratic system of government. We will not allow the carpet to be rolled back against this fundamental democratic space that Kenyans fought for valiantly for so many years. The government should come out clearly both in its conduct and management of public affairs whether it supports and is prepared to protect these basic freedoms.

Finally CORD members of the National Assembly have drafted a Bill which is undergoing publication for purposes of exempting essential commodities from VAT. We call upon the leadership of the National Assembly to prioritize and expedite debate and enactment of the Bill.