A ruthless approach in dealing with corruption, change of Kenya’s governance system, adherence to the rule of law and electoral justice dominated presentations by political parties to the Building Bridges Initiative taskforce.
Maendeleo Chap Chap leader who is also Machakos Governor Dr Alfred Mutua proposed change of government procurement system that should be pegged on the current market rates to deal with corruption in the procurement sector.
“Punishment for corruption should be severe. Let us have a minimum two-year jail term to life imprisonment for those convicted of corruption. Remove the optional fine in corruption cases and lifestyle audit for public officers before they assume office,” Mutua said.
He called for the introduction of ethical studies in schools and audit of funds being donated through fundraisers.
“We have seen leaders donate millions of shillings but they can’t account for how they make the money. This is fraud and money-laundering that is being blessed by the religious organisations who are the majority of the recipients of harambee money,” Mutua said.
On governance, Mutua wants a president who should be elected through universal suffrage to win with a clear majority of 65 per cent.
“The President should be both head of State and government. We propose the president, prime minister, deputy president, two deputy presidents to run on a joint ticket and come from different regions. All should also be allowed to vie as MPs or Senators. The leader of opposition should be facilitated and be on the same level as prime minister,” he said.
Mutua advocated for a purely technology based elections that are scattered twice in a month, under surveillance of CCTV cameras and recorded by video cameras to curb rigging.
Meanwhile, Narc Kenya proposed that to achieve President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big Four Agenda, there should be a sustained and successful fight to combat white collar, State-led corruption and impunity.
“Devolved corruption at the counties is threatening the promise of devolution. Front line anti-corruption agencies must focus on counties. For successful prosecution, there should be a highly trained prosecution team established for the Corruption and Economic crimes court,” said Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua.
She called on the entire judicial chain to read from the same script and not get involved in side shows.
“Timely investigations, prosecution and conclusion of corruption cases and all serious cases like murders are required. We propose a speedy trial legislation, coupled with strict adherence to Chapter Six of the Constitution,” Karua said adding this will improve service delivery which is daily compromised by corruption.
She also called for recovery of public resources, protection and strengthening of key accountability institutions.
“A strengthened and well-funded office of the Auditor General shall provide a detailed report with far reaching recommendations that shall deter outright fraud or misuse of public resources as is the case today,” Karua said.
She said the law should be amended to allow the Auditor General to be annually presented to Parliament as an accountability measure but not for approval since some MPs are directly or indirectly adversely affected by the report.
“Amendments to the existing laws should be done to allow Office of Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) to use the report once published to effect recommendations made therein,” Karua said.
She said Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) and Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) should be protected as they play key roles in protecting the interests of the majority of the citizens.
“Disbanding SRC now and cutting its budget when perks for MPs are being harmonized doesn’t help solve the high public wage that is hurting Wanjiku. KNCHR should be funded as it is the public watchdog on matters of human rights and dignity,” Karua said.
Karua called for proportional representation (PR) to ensure that political party lists have the face of Kenya and leaders pledge allegiance to the country and not a specific region because they are a product of national not regional vote.
“PR will grow parties in content and structure and cure the current burden of six elections in a day since the voter will cast her vote once. Political parties will provide zebra lists with names that will alternate between the two genders,” Karua said.