BBI REFORMS

A ceremonial President would be truly radical

In Summary

• President Kenyatta called for radical constitutional reform at the Mashujaa Day celebrations in Kisii

• The original Bomas draft constitution proposed an executive Prime Minister and a ceremonial President

President Uhuru Kenyatta and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta arrive in Kisii county for the 11th Mashujaa Day celebrations on October 20, 2020.
President Uhuru Kenyatta and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta arrive in Kisii county for the 11th Mashujaa Day celebrations on October 20, 2020.
Image: PSCU

In Kisii yesterday President Uhuru Kenyatta called for radical constitutional reform to end the winner-takes-all politics that continually divides Kenya.

He was speaking ahead of the imminent release of the BBI proposals for structural change in Kenya.

Reportedly the key change in the BBI is the creation of a Prime Minister and deputy Prime Ministers.

 
 

The original Bomas draft constitution wanted an executive Prime Minister elected by MPs with a ceremonial president. The PM would be the person who could mobilise the most support in Parliament. He could therefore come from any party or any region and would need to keep as many people as possible happy. It was felt that that would end the winner-takes-all mentality of the imperial presidency.

The BBI reportedly proposes that the Prime Minister will be recommended by the National Assembly but will be appointed by the President who will still retain many executive powers.

That raises the question of whether the BBI proposal will be radical enough. Perhaps we need to revisit the Bomas idea of a purely ceremonial President and an executive PM who is the real leader of the country.

Quote of the day: "Good wishes alone will not ensure peace."

Alfred Nobel
The Swedish inventor of dynamite and founder of the Nobel Prize was born on October 21, 1833