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Bill seeks to bar governors from using titles and national flag

By Wilfred Ayaga | July 31st 2014

Nairobi, Kenya: National Assembly Wednesday debated a contentious Bill which bars governors from using the title "Excellency" and denies them the right to fly the national flag.

The Order of Precedence Bill, which has attracted the ire of governors and Members of the County Assemblies, came up for the second reading.

The Bill spells out penalties for undesignated State officers who insist on having the national flag on their cars and using the title which has been reserved for President and Deputy President.

"A person who uses a title in contravention of sub-section (1) commits an offence and shall be liable, on conviction, to a fine of not less than one million shilling and not more than two million shillings, or to imprisonment for a term not less than twelve months, or both," reads the Bill.

The Bill sets the order of seniority of public officers and specifies those who should use various titles.

Contributing to the Bill, Adan Keynan (Eldas) said the Bill will contribute towards maintaining order in public affairs.

"You will not be punished if you don't refer to somebody by the title. But you will be punished if you masquerade. The punishment can include criminal prosecution," he said.

Jared Opiyo (Awendo) said the Bill will end the protocol hitches witnessed during the term of the coalition government.

"During the nusu mkate government, it took us a long time to know how to address the Prime Minister. We didn't have something like this in place. With the enactment of the Bill, a lot of these issues will be sorted out," he said.

Governors came under fire for continuing to fly the flag in contravention of the County Management Act.

Asman Kamama (Tiaty) said that governors have defied the provisions in the Act and hoped that the Bill will slam the brakes on the practice.

However, George Oner (Rangwe) said the Bill was unnecessary.

"What problem exists that it requires a Bill of this sort. We already have order and decorum in functions. We should not have a law of this nature. We might be creating disorder by passing law of this nature. We have a two-tier type of government. To the people at the grassroots, their elected representatives are honourable members," he said.

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