It is not everyday that you find the head of a parastatal, and therefore a member of the Executive, attack the president, or his policies.
However, this is exactly what happened in Busia county after the chairman of a parastatal, and also a former minister under the ODM wing of the grand coalition government, faulted Uhuru’s move to impose tighter regulatory measures in a bid to mitigate the third wave Corona virus that has ravaged the country.
A couple of weeks ago, the president announced stricter rules intended to curb the spread of the Corona virus.
These measures included, among others, longer curfew hours and restrictions on moving in or out of five counties designated as the disease infested area. Other measures included banning of sale of alcohol, restriction to only takeaways in hotels, and suspension of all sporting events.
Now, former Funyula member of parliament Dr. Paul Otuoma, who also served as a Sports Minister in the grand coalition government, has come out to fault the president for the new measures.
Otuoma, who is also chair of the privatisation Commission, said that the president shouldn’t have gone ahead to impose such strict regulatory measures which will obviously affect people’s businesses, hence their livelihoods, without providing them with a plan B which to fall on.
He said that having introduced measures such as reduced working hours and a shrank working space, he should have offered the affected businesspeople tax relief mitigating options, so as to cushion businesses from the adverse effects of the Corona virus measures.
Just last week, a section of bar owners held a press conference to complain about impending losses due to the new regulations.
What will, however, be of major concern to political players, especially on the former Prime Minister’s side, is what this change of tune from Otuoma portends for the camp.
In 2017, Otuoma vied for the ODM Gubernatorial ticket but lost to the incumbent, Sospeter Ojamong’.
Complaining of vote irregularities, he decamped from ODM and ran as an independent candidate. Since then, there has been a rocky relationship with his former party leader, Raila Odinga.
There appeared to be a thawing of relations after Otuoma was appointed chair of the Privatisation Commission in an appointment by the president but rumoured to have been recommended to him by Raila.
Otuoma’s statement sounds similar to one issued by tanga tanga MPs on Monday.