Hon. James Opiyo Wandayi, MGH, MP, Leader of the Minority Party
The Hon. James Opiyo Wandayi, CBS, MGH, MP 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.
The Hon. Wandayi is a Member of the Orange Democratic Movement Party (ODM), 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.
The Hon. Wandayi served as a Member of three Departmental Committees, namely: - Administration & National Security; Agriculture & Cooperatives Development; and, Environment and Natural Resources during his First Term in the National Assembly during the 11th Parliament (2013 - 2017). During this tenure, he made substantial contributions that was geared towards development of various policies and legislations. He further provided the requisite oversight and balances on the Executive as a Legislator and Member of the Committees.
The Hon. Wandayi served as the Chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) for five years during his Second Term in the National Assembly during the 12th Parliament (2017 - 2022). During this tenure, he provided leadership of the parliamentary oversight committee on the prudent 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 for the Government Projects, Programs and Service Delivery. Thus, he succeeded in redeeming the image of this foremost PAC as acknowledged by the Speaker that the Wandayi - led PAC has set a record of reducing a three-year backlog and delivering an up-to-date scrutiny of the Auditor General’s Reports; and, hence bringing the National Audit process to completion.
The 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.
The Hon. Wandayi being elected as the Leader of the Minority Party in the 13th Parliament has emerged as key member of the minority party and a strong advocate of social justice. In December 2022, on behalf of the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition, the 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 for Kenyans for subsequent years. The eight-point agenda pursued would help families put food in their tables, reduce 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 prioritise on the Minority Party’s Agenda as the coalition seeks to ensure utmost accountability from the National Executive.
In his legislative role, the Hon. 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 until conclusion. As Leader of the Minority Party, Hon. Wandayi has initiated a Bill to amend the Penal Code, Cap 63, Laws of Kenya which seeks to abolished the death penalty.
The Hon. Wandayi is an alumnus of the University of Nairobi (UoN) where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture, specializing in Agricultural Economics in 1996. Further, the Hon. Wandayi holds a Diploma in Business Management from the Kenya Institute of Management (KIM) and Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT). He is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Laws Degree at Daystar University.