Proponents of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report have accused Deputy President William Ruto of dishonesty in opposing it.
The allies of President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga yesterday read mischief in Ruto’s rejection of the proposal to expand the Executive.
The leaders said the DP has no choice but to oppose the report since he has been critical of the March 9, 2018 handshake between the president and the ODM leader, which birthed the BBI.
Ruto on Monday questioned how picking a prime minister and two deputies from the majority party would fix the winner-takes-it-all system, arguing that it will still leave the opposition party out of the country’s governance.
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National Assembly Minority Leader John Mbadi said the creation of the additional positions was to ensure regional balance in the running of government.
“I think he was in a hurry to oppose without giving the matter a proper thought. The proposal envisages that those running for presidency would identify a running mate, candidate for premier and two deputies with a view of meeting regional balance,” he said.
Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja noted that inclusivity does not mean co-opting the opposition in government, but about regions and communities feeling included.
“Inclusivity is about ethnic communities or regions feeling they are part of the government. It is not just about expansion but ensuring that the president, deputy president, prime minister and two deputies come from different regions,” said Sakaja.
National Assembly Majority Leader Amos Kimunya also dismissed Ruto’s assertion that giving the president powers to appoint Ombudsman to the Judiciary would compromise its independence.
Kimunya said there was no way the Chief Justice can appoint the Ombudsman expected to check the excesses of the Judiciary and still expect him or her to perform without interference.
“Can the CJ appoint the Ombudsman to check the excesses of the Judiciary? The answer is no for the obvious reasons,” he said.
MPs Ngunjiri Wambugu (Nyeri Town), Ayub Savula (Lugari) and Godfrey Osotsi (Nominated) said it was not a surprise that Ruto used the Bomas event to declare his opposition to the document, saying he has all along been critical of the process.
But Ruto’s allies led by Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei and Baringo North MP William Cheptumo maintained that the country must have a national conversation on some issues with grey areas.
Cherargei said ending the winner-takes-it-all system means bringing on board poll losers, which he said does not address the elephant in the room in the electoral process.