National Assembly Majority leader says proposals do not need a referendum to enact
Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga is the biggest loser in the BBI report released last week, National Assembly Majority leader Aden Duale has said.
Speaking in Garissa on Sunday, Duale said Raila had been advocating for a powerful Prime Minister through the Building Bridges Initiative. Duale said the report unveiled last week, however, watered down that position and made it similar to that of a Majority leader in the National Assembly.
“Raila should just accept that he has been hoodwinked. He should dust himself, accept that that is how things have turned out and move on with life,” Duale said.
He was speaking during a thanksgiving ceremony at Hafsa Bimti Sir Centre that received a bus from President Uhuru Kenyatta during a visit to State House IN Nairobi a fortnight ago.
Duale said Raila had all along made him (Duale) believe that the committee will propose a pure parliamentary system which him (Raila) and his troops "were really fighting for."
“All along, Raila had made me believe that these recommendations will be captured in the report. I personally supported the parliamentary system and went ahead to campaign for the same knowing that it was the best system for us as pastoralist communities,” he said.
“Now that the same did not happen, let us all support the report because 80 per cent of the document is good. Let us stop these sideshows and remember that Kenya is bigger than all of us.”
The Garissa Township MP dismissed those saying that the BBI recommendations should be subjected to a referendum.
He said those agitating for a referendum were doing so out of ignorance and failure to understand the Constitution.
“Are those calling for a referendum aware that there exists no referendum law to govern the process? This is similar to calling people to eat when you have no firewood or food to cook,” Duale said.
The Constitution, in Article 255, states that a referendum can only be called when the matters arising relate to the term of office of the President, the structure of the devolved governments, the sovereignty of the people, the territory of Kenya, the supremacy of the Constitution among others.
Duale said none of the listed issues is contained in the BBI report.
“Are those calling for a referendum aware that for you to go to a referendum it has to relate to matters touching Article 255 of the Constitution? Have those people calling for a referendum read the report to see whether it contains matters relating to Article 255 of the Constitution. I did not see any of these in the report. So those shouting referendum should first read the Constitution and the report concurrently,” Duale said.
He said that subjecting the county to a referendum would be catastrophic, given the tough economic times Kenyans are going through.
“Are those calling for a referendum aware of the cost of conducting it? Would you rather spend and waste billions of shillings on matters that do not require a referendum or use the cash to offer services to Kenyans?”
edited by peter Obuya