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Lobby wants to bar DP from taking over power

 Linda Ugatuzi's Philip Alusiola, Dr Fred Ogola and Dennis Wendo address the press on December 13, 2022. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

A group has proposed changes to the Constitution that, if adopted, would see the Deputy President barred from running for presidency immediately after his or her term as the president's principal assistant, ends.

Operation Linda Ugatuzi wants the DP allowed to run for president after the expiry of at least five years. The lobby leader Dr Fred Ogola says the move will allow the sitting deputy president to direct his energies on helping the Government of the day deliver on its manifesto without distractions from early campaigns.

"We all concur that our 2010 Constitution is good. In fact, one of the best in the world. It encompasses our common aspirations and lays down a good legal framework towards achievement of the same. However, it is not perfect, a fact that we have always known and accepted since its adoption," Ogola said on Tuesday in Nairobi.

"Remember, we adopted the Constitution, with the promise that we would later amend the 'oppressive' parts, which was put at 20 per cent. Twelve years down the line, we feel it is time to amend these oppressive parts for the benefit of Kenyans," he added.

He said the changes that Operation Linda Ugatuzi is proposing are contained in a proposed Bill that will require Kenyans' signatures before it is passed on to MPs for debate. The proposed changes also seek to have governors barred from running for Senate immediately after their terms expire, suggesting that the earliest the county chiefs can seek the senatorial office is after five years of leaving office.

This, Ogola said, will enable sitting governors be committed to serving the electorate. The lobby further proposes that governors and senators should not be members of the same political party. This, he said, would allow senators to provide adequate oversight on governors. The proposed changes also give the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission powers to prosecute suspects. Only the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions has those powers as per the current legal framework.

Other suggestions include giving more money to political parties with highest representation of women, youth, and the elderly.

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