Western Kenya MPs outline constitution review proposals

Kimilili MP Didmus Barasa
Kimilili MP Didmus Barasa

Western Kenya MPs have outlined proposals presented to the parliamentary constitutional initiative committee concerning the much discussed constitutional review. Addressing the press at parliament, the MPs indicated that a referendum should be done only if it benefits Kenyans, supporting sentiments held by different leaders who have contributed to the referendum calls. Lugari MP Ayub Savula said they’ve looked at the structure of governance from the grassroot level up to the national level, and have proposed the removal of some posts. “We propose to remove the current structure of Cabinet Secretaries and introduce the position of ministers who will sit as Members of parliament,” he said. He added that they’ve also proposed the removal of CECs in Counties who are not members of the County Assembly.

The Lugari MP said the number of MCAs should also be reduced to a maximum of four per constituency. Kimilili MP Didmus Barasa said they’ve also proposed the reduction of the number of MPs and ensure MPs are equal in terms of the population they represent, “There is no point of having constituencies heavily varying in terms of population…. one may have 120 registered voters while another has 15 registered voters,” he said. Didmus said the Senate should also be scrapped and the role the Seate is playing now will be picked up by a departmental committee of the National Assembly for Devolution, “We’ve seen that we have duplication of duties between the National Assembly and the Senate..” he said. He cited the case where the parliament was tasked with probing the Ruaraka land case and the Senate was later tasked with the same role, “We want to have one legislative arm which is the National Assembly.”

The Kimilili MP said the County allocation should be increased to 40%, with 10% channelled to CDF and the remaining 50% to the national level, he said this will ensure competition is devolved to control resources at the County level. On his part, Bumula MP Mwambu Mabonga said Kenyans are in agreement that they shouldn’t have a referendum which seeks to introduce more elective positions. He said some leaders who are strongly supporting the referendum are already eyeing some seats, adding that the position of the Prime Minister and his deputies will come with added costs, “You need to ask yourselves, the privileges that come with such offices. Definitely, the budget will increase,” said the Bumula MP.