Tuesday, April 29, 2008


There is a big misconception in Kenya that the Opposition’s role is only to oppose, oppose, and oppose! This often means opposing what the government does. It always means questioning what the government is doing. This is childish ignorance to say the least. Kenyans need to grow to a level where they think of the role of the Opposition more constructively as holding the government to account. The Opposition’s main role is to question the government of the day and hold it accountable to the public. If we all support Hon. Ababu Namwamba and his fellow proponents of the “Grand Opposition”, we will go about our politics in a positive way and we will cause the government to adopt positive proposals.

We all need to understand that the Opposition has the additional job of working to present an alternative government. This may involve bringing together smaller political parties or enticing potentially government parties. This is part of the role of the Opposition in working to present an alternative government so that in case the government fails the citizens have an alternative that they can turn to.

The other major role of the Opposition is proposing alternatives to what the government is doing so the public gets the benefit of political debate between different directions. At one end of the spectrum there are occasions on which oppositions agree with the Government. These tend to be where it is simply in the wider public interest that a problem is fixed. It is where the solution the government is proposing has wide support, and it is hard to disagree with it.

The leader of the Opposition is responsible for representing the Opposition at state functions, meetings with dignitaries and other important events. The way opposition parties work together can influence the outcomes - if they succeed in working together and in building the political numbers they increase their chances of forming the next government.

Any Government has to remain answerable to the public at all times, and a good Opposition can put the spotlight on serious issues and have them resolved quickly. We also have to realize that the Opposition parties do not have the same resources as the Government and the Executive, so they have to work twice as hard to get the same results. The Government has access to government departments and advisers to form their policies, where the Opposition often has to go down different avenues to source the same information. So having legislators like Hon. Ababu Namwamba who have their own personal resources and networks that they can use as they work to bring accountability to our government is a huge advantage to we the common people. The alternative is having an Opposition that is full of people who are intellectually and economically bankrupt. Such people will always stay on the fence waiting to be bribed to support government bills.

Kenyans also need to realize that it is important that the Opposition keep a close eye and ear on what the public is saying, needs, and wants because the Government not delivering often causes problems. These needs a keen Opposition that is full of life and passion to see positive change in the country. There are some issues sometimes caused by Government negligence that become the Opposition’s main platforms.

Having said this, the Kenyan Diaspora Pro-democracy Movement hopes that all Kenyans will understand and support Hon.Ababu Namwamba and his colleagues as they pursue the idea of serving as our Opposition.

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