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Lock senators out of governor race, says team

By Wilfred Ayaga | May 9th 2016

A parliamentary committee has recommended that senators be barred from contesting for governorship in the next General Election.

The Constitution Implementation Oversight Committee (CIOC) in its report to the National Assembly, wants senators blocked from vying for the post on grounds that this will interfere with their oversight role in the Senate.

“The committee holds the view that there is need to bar senators from participating in gubernatorial elections in the term following that which they would be serving as senators,” said the organ charged with overseeing the implementation of the 2010 Constitution.

The committee report, which is likely to irritate senators, portrays them as self-seekers more concerned with unseating governors at the expense performing their oversight role in the Senate.

Conflict Of Interest

“The committee observed that there is a conflict of interest between senators and governors where the senators, who are supposed to represent and safeguard the interests of counties, end up having interests to be leaders of these counties.

“This dilutes the provisions of Article 96 (1) of the Constitution which provides that the ‘Senate represents the counties, and serves to protect the interest of the counties and their governments’,” the committee chaired by Njoroge Baiya (Githunguri) said.

The proposal comes in the wake of revelations by a number of senators that they intend to unseat their governors in the 2017 elections.

Among senators who have expressed interest in becoming governors are Boni Khalwale (Kakamega), Anyang’ Nyong’o (Kisumu), James Orengo (Siaya), James Mungai (Nakuru), Kiraitu Murungi (Meru) and Hassan Omar (Mombasa).

Latest Onslaught

This is the latest onslaught on the Senate, which has also been accused of gobbling up billions of shillings while performing roles that can be done by other institutions.

The committee termed the relevance of the Senate “debatable” and in need of a fresh assessment.

“The committee noted that the relevance of the institution of the Senate is debatable and its functions may need to be reviewed,” said the report.

The report arose out of a petition to the National Assembly to take over the process of amending the Constitution by using all existing draft proposals and subjecting one hybrid draft to a national referendum.

The committee’s report suggests that barring senators from gubernatorial seats will bottle their current appetite to unseat governors.

The CIOC report will be debated by the National Assembly after the curr

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