Team scrutinises referendum drives to form one driven by Parliament

Thursday March 24 2016

Former President Mwai Kibaki and former Attorney-General Amos Wako after the promulgation of the new Constitution on August 27, 2010. FILE PHOTO |

Former President Mwai Kibaki and former Attorney-General Amos Wako after the promulgation of the new Constitution on August 27, 2010. FILE PHOTO |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

By JOHN NGIRACHU
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A retired Major from Bomet has jolted into action the parliamentary committee that oversees that the implementation of the Constitution with a set of radical ideas, prompting them to start scrutinising the several ongoing referendum drives.

Now, the Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee (CIOC) wants to look at all the parallel initiatives in the process of deciding what would go into a plebiscite driven by Parliament.

“We want to hear all of them first before we consider whether to combine all these proposals into one Bill,” said CIOC chairman Njoroge Baiya.

Among Rtd Maj Joel Kiprono’s most radical proposal is a rotating Presidency that would give every one of the 42 tribes an opportunity to lead the country.

In the first phase, Mr Kiprono proposed that Kikuyus and Kalenjins should be barred from the Presidency for 52 years because Presidents Jomo Kenyatta, Daniel arap Moi, Mwai Kibaki and Uhuru Kenyatta have already held the top position.

He also proposed that landowners with more than 100 acres be forced to give up the rest of their land for leasehold, and for foreigners to be barred from owning land in the country.

Additionally, Mr Kiprono proposed a mandatory military service for all youth leaving school. This would be different from the National Youth Service. In the past, it was mandatory for students headed for public universities to go through the NYS programme first.

“The young person in the NYS is neither voluntary nor an employee, neither civilian nor soldier but he is always in uniform. That person is likely to be used as a tool by mischievous Kenyans,” said Mr Kiprono.

As for the counties, the retired soldier wants the number reduced to just three large zones.

In combining the several referendum drives, CIOC member Ababu Namwamba said they would want an orderly process where all the energies that have gone into the various initiatives are used to push one idea.

PUNGUZA MZIGO

Moses Kuria, who leads the Punguza Mzigo Initiative, said the main thrust of his idea is to reduce the cost of government brought about by the Constitution.

The Gatundu South MP wants the counties reduced to 16, the Senate scrapped, the position of Woman Representative done away with, the number of Members of County Assembles reduced and the number of MPs reduced by half.

Mr Kuria reckoned that if the Senate was scrapped and the National Assembly reduced by half, that would save the country Sh14 billion with similar action on MCAs saving Sh12 billion.

Mr Kuria said the implementation of the rule to ensure that not more than two-thirds of MCAs per county were of the same gender had enabled the nomination of an overwhelming number of women.

He said this combined with the increase of MCAs’ salaries from what used to be earned by councilors had placed an unnecessary burden on the taxpayer.

“For an MCA to take home half a million, where did Wanjiku strike the jackpot?” he asked.

Based on recent assertions that one-third of Kenya’s budget is lost to corruption, the Gatundu South MP said he is of the belief that every governor has stolen Sh1 billion.

“If I see one governor who has done good, he will go to heaven,” said Mr Kuria.

He also criticized the performance of his colleagues nominated to Parliament or elected to represent special interests such as the Woman Representatives.

“We should have seen a flurry of motions and Bills from the young MPs and the women. I think I represent women issues much more than the woman representatives,” he said.