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December 10, 2018

Two Rift MPs draft Bills to create strong Prime Minister’s position

Cherangany MP elect Joshua Kuttuny. Photo/MATHEWS NDANYI
Cherangany MP elect Joshua Kuttuny. Photo/MATHEWS NDANYI

Cherang’any MP Joshua Kuttuny and his Tiaty counterpart Kassait Kamket have separately proposed the creation of a Prime Minister’s position.

 This is a significant departure from most Jubilee legislators and other proponents of the referendum who want many political positions abolished.

 The proposal is likely to put the two MPs in collision with Deputy President William Ruto, who is opposed to amending the 2010 Constitution to create more positions.

 Kuttuny also proposes the creation of two positions for Deputy Prime Ministers.

 He says the Prime Minister and the two deputies shall be appointed by the President and approved by the National Assembly. The PM Kuttuny will be the head of government business in Parliament.

Read: Don't support referendum to create more positions - Ruto

 Tiaty MP Kamket has also drafted a Bill to create the position of Prime Minister who will have executive powers and be the leader of government business.

 Kenya has had two Prime Ministers - at independence and during the grand coalition government.

 Kamket proposes that the President should have ceremonial powers, serving a single seven-year term.

 In another radical proposal that is set to spark political debate, the Jubilee legislator proposes that the President and the Deputy President as well as ministers shall be elected members of the National Assembly.

 “Save for where a person is elected as the President or the Deputy President, he or she shall relinquish his or her position as a member of the National Assembly,” Kuttuny proposes.

 Prior to the 2010 Constitution, President and the Vice President were also elected MPs.

 Kuttuny is also seeking to re-introduce the position of the leader of the opposition, who will be from the second largest party in Parliament.

 Just like what West Mugirango MP Vincent Kemosi, Kuttuny wants Cabinet Secretaries to be picked from among elected MPs.Kemosi has already written to Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi indicating that he is sponsoring a Bill to amend Article 152( 1 ) which says cabinet secretaries will not be fewer than 14 and not more than 22, and Article 152 ( 3 ), which states that a Cabinet Secretary shall not be a Member of Parliament.

 “The objective of the Bill is to reduce the bloated wage bill, and ensure MPs have an opportunity to ask cabinet ministers in the House questions and issues affecting their constituencies,” Kemosi says in his letter dated October 2.

 As per the 2010 Constitution, the cabinet is made up of the President, Deputy President, Attorney General and a maximum of 22 ministries, who must be be vetted by Parliament before their appointment.

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