New clamour for referendum seeks to introduce powerful Prime Minister post
SEE ALSO :Leaders query Huduma listingPresentations by Central Organisation of Trade Unions (Cotu), governors, senators, MPs, Members of County Assembly (MCAs) and the public in general are unanimous that the country’s governance system has to be changed. During his presentation in Nairobi last month, Cotu Secretary General Francis Atwoli called for an amendment to the Constitution to create the position of prime minister and two deputies who will oversee and supervise the day to day running of Government. He argued that a parliamentary system of governance is the best as it aligns the governance structure to the changing socio-economic and political dynamics, including the aspect of creating a government that is all inclusive and resonates well with majority of Kenyans, if not all. He proposed an amendment to Article 154 (1) to create the position of a chief secretary who will be in-charge of overall government administration and sit as a member of the Cabinet. “Equally, an Amendment to Chapter Nine (9) on the Executive, Part Two (2) under Article 131 (1) to create the position president with two deputies to reduce the anxiety that comes with a single deputy to the president being viewed as the next president upon the end of term of the serving president,” Atwoli said.
SEE ALSO :Do Kenyans really need a referendum now?ODM proposal In its proposals to the task force, ODM is also proposing restructuring of the Executive to re-introduce a parliamentary system and have a president elected by a college of legislators. They have also called for the creation of the prime minister’s post. The party has also called for creation of more Executive positions. In the structure of devolution, Raila’s team proposes creation of 14 regional units who will elect a regional premier who will oversee several counties. When National Super Alliance (Nasa) was campaigning in 2017, the coalition had promised to amend the Constitution to create the position of prime minister and two deputies. It had indicated that it will adopt the Bomas Draft which had proposals for an expanded Executive. Council of Governors (CoG) has appointed renowned constitution reform lawyers Prof Kivutha Kibwana (Makueni) and Kiraitu Murungi (Meru) to co-chair its committee on referendum. CoG chairman Wycliffe Oparanya (Kakamega) said the creation of the PM's post will solve the country’s perennial skirmishes during elections. “We want a less powerful central government and powerful devolved units that respect each other. In this sense, the post of PM is key to neutralising power at the centre for us to be able to address challenges bedeviling devolution since its inception,” Oparanya said. Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho, while making his presentation at Kenya School of Government in Mombasa last month, called for the creation of a three-tier government apart from the national and county governments. Joho advocated the adoption of the Bomas Draft Constitution which had proposed 12 regional governments, and the retention of the 47 county governments. Kiraitu, while addressing the BBI team when they visited Meru last month, said the few positions in the Executive had led to deadly political contests that promoted tribalism. The governor said this is the right time to call a referendum as the current president would have no vested interests. Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu has called for an investigation into how the last three elections were conducted to be able to build a peaceful and cohesive nation ahead of the 2022 polls. Speaking at the Kitui’s Multipurpose Training Institute late last year, Ngilu said she was looking for a responsive task force that will tell and expose what exactly happened in 2007, 2012 and 2017 elections that left Kenyans divided along tribal lines. Shrink ethnicity When BBI team visited Makueni, residents advocated for the number of political parties to be reduced and to adopt the kind of politics the West practises to rid the country of ethnicity. They said this was the only way of curbing rigging and electoral manipulation after political parties come together to form alliances. Tiaty MP William Kamket – a close ally of Kanu Chairman and Baringo Senator Gideon Moi, also has a Bill pending in the National Assembly that seeks to create the Office of the prime minister who will be elected by the National Assembly and will have two deputies. The task force is moving around the country to collect views on how to end nine areas of concern that were identified by Uhuru and Raila. [Report by Protus Onyango, Rawlings Otieno and Moses Nyamori]
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