Hon James Opiyo Wandayi, MP, CBS, MGH
LEADER OF THE MINORITY PARTY IN THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
Hon James Opiyo Wandayi, MP, CBS, MGH
The Hon James Opiyo Wandayi, MP, CBS, MGH was elected as the Leader of the Minority Party in the 13th Parliament in September, 2022. Hon Wandayi is an elected ranking member of the National Assembly of Kenya, serving his third term as a representative of Ugunja Constituency, having been elected to Parliament in the 2013, 2017, and 2022 general elections.
Hon. Wandayi is a member of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) that is aligned to the Azimio One Kenya Party Coalition. Hon Wandayi has held the position of Secretary for Political Affairs in the ODM party since 2014. He also serves as the Second Deputy Secretary-General of the National Executive Committee of Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition Party.
During Hon Wandayi’s first term in the National Assembly between 2013 and 2017, he served as a member of three Departmental Committees namely: - Administration & National Security; Agriculture & Cooperatives Development; and Environment and Natural Resources. In these Committees, he made significant contributions to the development of various policies and legislations as well as providing the requisite oversight on the Executive.
Thereafter, in the second term of the 12th parliament between 2017-2022, Hon. Wandayi served as the Chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee for five years. In this role he provided leadership of the oversight on the use of public funds by the national government. He played a crucial role in public sector accountability in government financial operations by ensuring value for money of government projects, programs and service delivery. More importantly, Hon Wandayi has succeeded in redeeming the image of this foremost parliamentary oversight committee. None other than the Speaker himself has acknowledged that the Wandayi-led PAC has set a record of reducing a 3-year backlog and delivering an up-to-date scrutiny of the Auditor-General’s reports; and thus bringing the national audit process to satisfactory completion. Hon Wandayi also served as the Secretary-General of the African Organization of Public Accounts Committees (AFROPAC), a Pan-African institution that advocates for accountability and good governance.
Following the 2022 general election, Hon Wandayi was elected as the Leader of the Minority Party in the 13th Parliament in September, 2022. In his role as Leader of Minority, Hon Wandayi has emerged as key member of the opposition benches and a strong advocate of social justice. In December 2022, on behalf of the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition, Hon Wandayi released an eight-point statement in which would push for well-thought-out interventions that will ensure long-term and sustainable upward economic mobility of Kenyans in 2023. The eight-point agenda to be pursued would include helping families put food in their tables, cost management of education, workers' welfare, a modern and professional public service, social protection, protection for farmers, electoral reforms, and a clear roadmap for economic mobility; all of which would be high on the Minority Party’s agenda as the coalition seeks to ensure utmost accountability from the national executive.
In his legislative role Hon. Opiyo Wandayi has robustly contributed to debate on various bills, motions and reports in the House. He has also proposed amendments to the Leadership and Integrity Act, 2012 in a bid to improve governance by seeking to have any person charged under the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act to step aside from office for investigations to be carried out and concluded. As Minority Leader, Hon Wandayi has initiated a Bill to amend the Penal Code, Cap 63, Laws of Kenya which seeks to abolish the death penalty.
Hon Wandayi is an alumnus of the University of Nairobi where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture, specializing in Agricultural Economics. He graduated in 1996. He later furthered his studies and obtained an MBA from JKUAT and a Diploma in Business Management from the Kenya Institute of Management. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Laws degree at Daystar University.