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Sh22 billion for new system of government

By Moses Nyamori | Published Fri, March 2nd 2018 at 12:44, Updated March 2nd 2018 at 13:09 GMT +3

Taxpayers would have spent at least Sh22 billion to have in place the proposed system of government that seeks to create a powerful prime minister and weaken the presidency.

The amount includes Sh20 billion that would be required to conduct a referendum and Sh2.1 billion needed for the creation of the offices of two deputy prime ministers.

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But the cost of running the country’s General Election would substantially go down, by Sh11 billion, in 2022 and subsequent elections as Kenyan voters would no longer go to the ballot to elect a president, senators, as well as woman representatives.

The cost implications of the draft Bill by Tiaty MP William Kamket (Kanu) emerged on Thursday when he appeared before the National Assembly’s Budget and Appropriations Committee chaired by Kimani Ichung'wa (Kikuyu).

According to a document prepared by the Parliamentary Budget Office, resources currently used to run the deputy president's office would be transferred to manage the proposed executive prime minister’s.

The cost could, however, be higher since the document did not provide details of the cost implications of the office of the opposition leader, who would enjoy certain privileges in Parliament.

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It further did not provide the financial implications of increasing the number of Cabinet secretaries from the current maximum of 22 to 28.

The proposed amendments seeks to have 94 senators – one woman and man from each county – meaning an additional 47 senators. The cost in this case would, however, be neutralised by the scrapping of 47 Woman representative positions.

Should the Bill become law, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission would conduct elections for 47 governors, 290 MPs, and 1,450 members of county assembly.

The president and the prime minister would be voted for by MPs while senators would be elected by MCAs.

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The committee is expected to write a report to National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi, which is to inform its admission and subsequent action.

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