Kalonzo wants MCAs reduced to 700

Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka (right) flanked by the party's Deputy leader Shakila Abdala (centre) and Party's first Vice-Chair Mutula Kilonzo Jr present their views to the Party's secretary to BBI taskforce at the KICC, Nairobi. [Elvis Ogina,Standard]

Wiper Party has proposed a reduction of MCAs from 1,450 to just 700 in the event the constitution will be amended.

Leader Kalonzo Musyoka, who was making submissions to the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) task force yesterday, said salaries of the 700 MCAs should then be increased by 20 per cent of their current pay.

He also wants counties increased to 50. Kalonzo proposed Gucha in Nyanza, Maua in Meru and Mwingi in Kitui as the new counties.

“In the new plan, Members of the County Executive Committees should be appointed from members of County Assembly,” Kalonzo said.

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However, it was interesting when Kalonzo and his deputy Farah Maalim differed over what was to be the party position when they appeared before the Senator Yusuf Haji-led team.

The two could not agree on the system of governance. While Kalonzo wants the president to remain both the head of state and government, Maalim wants a parliamentary system led by an executive premier.

Maalim claimed the one-man one-vote system was a disadvantage to minority communities as it cuts their chances of ever leading this country through unequal opportunity.

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The clash infuriated Wiper MPs who had accompanied them to KICC in Nairobi. Some of the MPs demanded for a National Executive Council meeting to iron out the issues. Ms Shakila Abdala, also a deputy party leader, was present. 

But Kalonzo downplayed the dispute, explaining Wiper is a democratic party that guarantees freedom of expression.

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Wiper wants the PM to be appointed by the president and only removed by a two-thirds majority in both the National Assembly and the Senate.

The premier, according to Wiper, will be responsible for coordination and supervision of government.

“The prime minister shall nominate, for appointment by the president, the two deputy prime ministers,” said Kalonzo.

He wants the premier to be the leader of government business in parliament and to be the leader of the political party or coalition with majority seats in parliament.

Wiper also proposed creation of positions of official leaders of opposition established in both the National Assembly and in the Senate.

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Kalonzo said the candidate who comes second in a presidential election should automatically join the Senate as the leader of official opposition and his running mate the National Assembly to take over a similar role. Kalonzo also wants the Senate accorded the status of ‘upper-house’ so that all Bills passed by the National Assembly must be approved before presidential assent.

Wiper further wants 50 per cent of the nomination slots exclusively reserved for women to bridge the gender parity in the elective positions.

It also wants the current Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) officials dismissed.

Kalonzo said political parties should be allowed to scrutinise IEBC processes before and during elections.

Workers’ union Cotu suggested a parliamentary system under a powerful prime minister with two deputies.

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Cotu also suggested creation of the position of Chief Secretary, who will be in charge of overall government administration and will sit in the Cabinet.

Cotu’s Deputy Secretary General Benson Okwaro called for a parliamentary system as was provided for in the Bomas Draft Constitution of 2004.

“The prime minister, from the majority party in parliament, should have executive powers and should not be dismissed by the president at will,” said Okwaro.

The workers’ union wants the premier to oversee the day-to-day running of government.

Cotu also proposed disbandment of the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC), accusing it of overstepping its advisory role and failing to ensure transparency and fairness.

The union claimed SRC has failed in its role to harmonise remuneration and benefits of State officers by “becoming a stumbling block to fair labour practices”.

“Despite being an independent constitutional body, the commission has become a government lapdog, hence interfering with its constitutional mandate,” said Okwaro.

Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union Secretary General Ouma Oluga called for creation of a health service commission, which will be responsible for recruitment and deployment of health workers.

The commission will assign health workers under it for services in any public hospital and other institutions, he said. 

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MCAsWiper PartyKalonzo MusyokaBBI