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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Scrap the Assembly, not Senate - Ekwee

Senate Speaker Ekwe Ethuro during an interview at his office where he said the animosity between the Senate and the National assembly had thawed Mar 04 2015.Photo/HEZRON NJOROGE
Senate Speaker Ekwe Ethuro during an interview at his office where he said the animosity between the Senate and the National assembly had thawed Mar 04 2015.Photo/HEZRON NJOROGE

Senate speaker Ekwee Ethuru and senators yesterday trashed recommendations by a committee of the National Assembly to scrap Senate.

Ethuro said, if the intetion of the proposal is to save on ballooning wage bill, then it should be the National Assembly that should be scraped as it has more MPs.

The National Assembly is currently made up of a total of 349 MPs while the Senate has a total of 67 elected and nominated senators.

"Those are dark forces. I am yet to read the report but my first reaction is the Senate should made the Upper House in terms of legislation ending there and have final say in all matters of government. In an case, if the proposal has anything to do with reducing wage bill,it should be the National Assembly that we should do way with. Senate does dual function-that of oversighting the counties and the national government," Ekwee told the Star on phone.

Homa Bay senator Moses Kajwang and his Makueni counterpart Mutula Kilonzo Jrn described the move as ill and misapprehension of the constitution saying it is an agenda by anti -devolution forces.

"It will take a revolution to remove devolution and the senate from the constitution. I advise them to abandon the obvious flights of fancy," Mutula told the Star.

"There is need to review the constitution to check on the overrepresention but as we do so, the House we should be thinking of doing away with is the National Assembly. The people behind the move are similar to those who pushed for scraping of senate soon after independence," Kajwang said.

He added: "If we retain the Senate and do way with the National Assembly,we will not be struggling with the gender rule because you will only need another 47 nominated senators of either gender to balance".

Nominated senator Beatrice Elachi described the proposal as populist saying the work of the Senate is well defined in the constitution.

On Thursday ,an a report tabled in the House, the committee on Budget and Appropriations the Senate be scraped or be strengthened.

The committee chaired by Mbeere South MP Mutava Musyimi said it should be strengthened to carry out work like the council of governors.

“After lengthy deliberations, the committee recommended that a referendum question be part of the 2017 elections for the public to allow the amendment of the constitution to initiate debate on the review to have two equal chambers and importantly discuss the role of the Senate and whether it is sustainable,” the report says.

The committee also wants the number of the nominated MCAs be reduced and the governors be required to nominate a running mate from the opposite gender.

In the radical proposals, the committee also recommended that the number of constituencies be reduced and the nominated MCA to be restricted to one per constituency.

The committee also wants the number of the nominated MCAs be reduced and the governors be required to nominate a running mate from the opposite gender.

In the radical proposals, the committee also recommended that the number of constituencies be reduced and the nominated MCA to be restricted to one per constituency.


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