- This is after the government published the National Government Administration Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2023 which wants to entrench the position in law through miscellaneous amendments.
- Currently, Monica Juma is occupying the office which was created by President William Ruto.
Opposition leader Raila Odinga has termed as unconstitutional Kenya Kwanza’s proposal seeking to amend the law to create the position of the National Security Advisor.
This is after the government published the National Government Administration Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2023 which wants to entrench the position in law through miscellaneous amendments.
Currently, Monica Juma is occupying the office which was created by President William Ruto.
One of the Acts the bill seeks to amend is the National Security Council Act with section 7 of the amendment bill seeking to empower the president to appoint the national security advisor after parliamentary approval.
However, Raila on Monday warned that the proposal would be unconstitutional as it seeks to alter the country’s security architecture away from what is provided in the Constitution.
Raila said the move is unlawful as it amounts to establishing a government otherwise than in compliance with the Constitution.
“The duties of this new office are not provided and it is not stated what their role is in the organization and administration of national security,” Raila said in a statement.
“The Constitution has already provided how national security is to be organized and administered and KenyaKwanza seems to think that this was not sufficient.”
The former prime minister claimed the move was deliberate to have someone who would interfere with the work of the defence forces, the intelligence service and the police.
“We don’t see what security advice there still is to give after the defence forces, intelligence service and the police have spoken, and thereafter policies are laid out by the respective parent ministries," Raila said.
“We can also foresee the occupant acting as a gatekeeper between the President and the other heads of the national security organs.”
Raila termed the occupier of the office just a personal aide to the president with no statutory defined roles, reporting structure and alignment to the bureaucracy.
“They will in effect be acting as the prefects of all national security heads. Kenya Kwanza must drop this interference with the constitutional architecture about our national security," Raila said.
Raila said his Azimio coalition will fight what he said is the latest manoeuvre to take total control of the national security machinery.
Saying the proposed amendments remain unconstitutional and untenable, Raila said the Constitution has a full chapter on national security and provides national security organs.
He said only the Kenya Defence Forces, the National Intelligence Service and the National Police Service are recognised as security organs.
Besides that, Raila said, the constitution provides that the ministries of internal security and defence are also recognized in the constitution, but not the office of the national security advisor.
“This new office of National Security Advisor does not fit into this structure and its creation is therefore an attempt by Kenya Kwanza to create a new national security organ outside the architecture of the Constitution," Raila said.
At the same time, Raila said the office may not sit well with the National Security Council which has membership already provided for its membership.
The Constitution says that the Secretary to the National Security Council shall be appointed by the members of the Council.
“Parliament has no power unless through a Constitutional amendment to alter this mandate. Parliament cannot appoint any person or any office to this position. That onus is entrusted to the Council by the Constitution," he said.
Through the National Government Administration Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2023, which has already been published, President Ruto is proposing to expand the National Security Council and the committee that manages the transition to a new government after the elections.
The Bill further seeks to establish a committee of the National Security Council to be chaired by the Head of Public Service and also a national security advisor who shall be its secretary.
The Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces, the director general of the National Intelligence Service and the Inspector General of the National Police Service would be members.