Bondo MP Dr Gideon Ochanda has termed the ongoing signature collection exercise by Azimio One Kenya Alliance coalition aimed at removing President William Ruto from office as an exercise in futility.
Dr Ochanda said that the signature collection exercise only applies for recall of Members of Parliament or Members of county assembly who have served for two and a half years.
He said there are stipulated ways in the constitution on how the president may be removed but collection of signatures is not one of them.
“I do not wish to belittle what the Azimio people are doing. The proponents of signature collection exercise may have known how it will be useful for them but from my understanding it may just be to try and show how popular the idea of removal of president is but will not be useful beyond that,” Ochanda said.
Ochanda was speaking in his Bondo constituency after a section of ODM ward representatives led by Alego Usonga MP Samuel Atandi had led protesters on a day long anti-government demonstration where residents were asked to participate in the 15 million target signature collection exercise to remove President William Ruto.
Ochanda further faulted the Alego Usonga MP’s call to residents of Nyanza to abscond President Ruto’s event during the impending Presidential visit saying maintaining Atandi’s remarks was not only against the law but also unfortunate.
“President Ruto had previously visited Nyanza and we welcomed him with open arms. For anyone to insinuate that the president cannot go to some part of the country is illegal. We only have one president and as people of Nyanza, we have to work with him to realize our development goals,” Ochanda said.
President Ruto is scheduled to visit Homa Bay and Siaya counties respectively in the next two weeks and is expected to launch development projects including 28 km Bondo- Liunda road, Solar power project in Mageta and the construction of Usenge-Got Agulu causeway in Bondo constituency.
The President is also expected to address the perennial arrest of Kenyan fishermen by Uganda security forces in Lake Victoria during his planned visit.
The legislator called on the people of Nyanza and especially residents of Bondo to turn up in huge numbers to receive the president saying those leaders opposed to his visit should keep off just like those opposed to Maandamano kept off demonstrations.
Dr Ochanda on the other hand called on Azimio leaders to reconsider their calls for “Maandamano” saying the demonstrations are being used by hooligans to destroy property which is a setback on development achieved especially in the Nyanza region.
“I am still in Azimio and a member of ODM party. I have no problem with what Azimio leadership is planning so long as it is within the law. Right now the ongoing demonstrations are no longer for the intended purpose and are being used to destroy property and ensure the country is at a standstill. I call on my colleagues in Azimio to reconsider their strategy on “Maandamano” which is getting out of hand,” urged Ochanda.
The day long demonstrations left a trail of destruction in Bondo with scores injured after battling with police.
Reporting by KNA