Muturi seeks to combine referendum drives into one law

Speaker asks House team to combine all the four referendums in one single Bill.

Thursday February 11 2016

Speakers of the Senate and National Assembly, Ekwee Ethuro (left) and Justin Muturi (right). Speaker Muturi wants all referendum drives incorporated into one single Bill. FILE PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Speakers of the Senate and National Assembly, Ekwee Ethuro (left) and Justin Muturi (right). Speaker Muturi wants all referendum drives incorporated into one single Bill. FILE PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By JOHN NJAGI
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National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi on Wednesday directed a parliamentary committee on constitutional implementation to consider compressing into one Bill, all referendum drives seeking to amend the Constitution.

The move means that popular referendum drives such as Cord Coalition’s Okoa Kenya, Jubilee’s Boresha Katiba, Council of Governor’s Pesa Mashinani drive and Punguza Mzigo by Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria, would have to agree to be incorporated  into a single Bill, to be voted for by Kenyans.

The directive by Mr Muturi follows a petition by a resident of Kericho County, Mr Joel Rop, urging Parliament to consider publishing a Bill which incorporates all constitutional amendments proposed by various individuals, civil society, political parties and organisations.

“The petitioner prays that the National assembly undertakes to amend the Constitution while taking into consideration draft proposals from the various referendum drives,” said Mr Muturi while presenting the petition to the House on Wednesday.

FUNDAMENTAL CHANGES

Mr Rop also calls for the amendment of sections of the Constitution touching on the structure in the national and county governments, land, official languages, and devolution, among others.

Mr Muturi said the request by the petitioner required thoughtful consideration since they propose to fundamentally alter the architecture of the Constitution.

“The petition therefore stands committed to the Constitution Implementation Oversight Committee for consideration,” he said.

The referendum drives propose almost similar amendments such as more resources to be devolved to the counties, and changes in the security sector. Only the names and the coalitions and entities pushing them appear to be the difference.

The move however is likely to face resistance from some of the coalitions that have also covered much ground in seeking support and signatures of Kenyans to meet some of the requirements.

Meanwhile, another petitioner, Mr Njoroge Waweru, has requested the National Assembly to remove value added tax on text books, journals and periodicals.

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