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Bill set to protect Opposition chiefs

By Protus Onyango | Published Wed, April 4th 2018 at 00:00, Updated April 4th 2018 at 09:17 GMT +3
Opposition leader Raila Odinga, Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka. [Photo: File]

Senators are expected to discuss a Bill to shield Opposition leaders from harassment by the State next month.

The Bill, sponsored by Narok Senator Ledama ole Kina (ODM) seeks to ensure that the Government does not withdraw their security.

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National Super Alliance (NASA) leader Raila Odinga and his coalition partners, Moses Wetang’ula (Ford Kenya),  Musalia Mudavadi of Amani National Congress, and former vice president and Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka, are among those set to benefit from the Bill.

The Bill is seeking to amend the law on retirement benefits for former top Government officials so that a joint committee of Parliament reviews any decisions the State makes about their perks. This will ensure such decisions are not taken just to intimidate them.

It seeks to amend the Retirement Benefits (Deputy President and Designated State Officers) Bill 2015, to provide that the former officials are assigned a specific number of armed bodyguards.

President Uhuru Kenyatta vetoed the Bill and gave conditions, among them that Raila and Kalonzo must first resign from active politics by relinquishing their party positions before they are considered for the perks. Both Raila and Kalonzo rejected Uhuru’s demands.

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The new Bill proposes that the former premier and ex-VP should be entitled to no less than six armed bodyguards and no more than 10.

It also sets up a joint parliamentary committee to ensure that the Executive does not alter or modify the entitlements with a view to intimidate. 

Where there is a need to scale down their security, the Inspector General of Police shall refer the matter to the joint committee for approval.

The committee shall consider the matter within 14 days and table a report in Parliament for consideration and adoption.

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Mr Kina said he presented the Bill to the Senate in February for formal introduction in the House next month.

“This Bill is meant to ensure we respect our leaders who have played crucial roles in our governance system. They should be treated with honour. I have lobbied my colleagues from NASA and Jubilee and I am sure it will sail through,” he said.

“It is coming up for the First Reading in May. Ole Kina has asked us to support him but we have to debate and enrich it. But he has done a good job," said Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Jr.


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