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MPs plan to amend law to join Cabinet

By Roselyne Obala | November 7th 2019 at 12:00:00 GMT +0300

Plans are afoot to have Members of Parliament join the Cabinet for easy transaction of constitutional mandate of ministers.

The National Assembly Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee (CIOC) has mooted the process seeking to amend Article 152 (3) of the Constitution, which blocks MPs from being part of the Executive. This, the committee argued, can be achieved through a parliamentary initiative without seeking public approval.

The lawmakers justify the move as having been necessitated by frustrations in discharging their oversight, legislative and representative roles and the cost implications at a time the government is effecting austerity measures to contain the ballooning wage bill.

Some MPs have threatened to impeach CSs whom they claim continue to snub their invites and instead send their chief administrative secretaries and principal secretaries to represent them.

The proposals, already before the Budget and Appropriations Committee for pre-scrutiny before it’s officially tabled in the House, will have the subsection on Cabinet appointment by the President excluding MPs deleted.

Yesterday, CIOC chairman Jeremiah Kioni (Ndaragua) and his Homa Bay Township MP Peter Kaluma who is also the member of the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee backed the amendment, saying it’s the only way to resolve the current impasse in getting responses from the CSs and it doesn’t require a referendum.

“MPs have been reduced to conveyor belts of the Executive. The absence of the Executive in the House has hampered the oversight role and slowed our legislative agenda. If we had ministers in the House, they would defend the government agenda on the floor,” said Mr Kioni.

Mr Kaluma said the provision in Article 255 of the Constitution that touch on a referendum does not apply to appointment to the cabinet.

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