There are extremely powerful political implications and possibly serious consequences following the introduction of a Bill drafted to change the power structures from the Presidency to the yet to be introduced Prime Ministerial.
Though the Jubilee hawks have been quick to distance themselves from the introduction of these proposed changes to the constitution, what is clear is the fact that it would be a plot in the offing by Jubilee operative Moses Kuria who has only come out in public that he is one who was told to prepare President Uhuru Kenyatta’s political continuity.
If passed into law using the tyranny of numbers that Jubilee enjoys in parliament the central Kenya or Mt. Kenya Jubilee operatives will have effectively neutralized Deputy President William Ruto’s ambitions to the presidency under the constitution as it is.
Indeed constitutionally President Kenyatta will be eligible to vie for the proposed powerful Prime Ministerial Post to continue ruling the country and serving the Mt. Kenya interests while whoever gets the Presidency will be landing an office without power as it currently is with President Kenyatta in office.
There is still the classic example in Russia with the constitution favouring the current President Vladimir Putin has since seen him serve as Prime Minister and President at one or other time.
Though the Mt. Kenya Jubilee operatives are denying any association with this serious political development, what every Kenyan knows is the fact that Kanu from which the legislator who crafted the Bill belongs to is part and parcel of Jubilee albeit the Rift Valley part of that outfit.
Indeed it is a fact that the little-known Kanu Member of Parliament from Baringo County’s Tiaty constituency Mr Kassait Kamket, has drafted a Bill that seeks to change the power structure from presidential to parliamentary.
Put to task by the media after the matter becoming public Kamket was widely quoted as saying: “This is a looking-forward legislative proposal. Being a first-term MP, I come with clean hands, and I pray that Kenyans read the Bill and debate the proposals without rancour, emotions and any preconceived malice on my part.”
On Wednesday of that (this) week, the Budget and Appropriations Committee of the National Assembly would scrutinize the financial implication of Mr. Kamket’s Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, 2017, which is the most elaborate and radical attempt to amend the 2010 Constitution yet.
The Public Finance Management Act gives the committee the power to scrutinize all Bills with financial implications for their sustainability. In the event the committee approves it, the Bill could be introduced in the House as soon as possible thus emphasizing the urgency and importance with which the Bill is being considered by the powers that be in Parliament.
There has been a quiet but lingering debate on which system of government Kenya should adopt, and that discussion has gained momentum in recent months after the recent political divisions created by the long presidential campaigns between Raila Odinga’s National Super Alliance (NASA) and Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee Party, which eventually saw Mr. Odinga boycott a repeat election.
Mr. Kamket is, therefore, reviving the debate on a highly controversial subject that marked the clamor for a new constitution in 2010 and could be just the beginning of the launch pad for President Political future after exiting the Presidency at the expiry of his current second term.
What is clear is the fact that the Jubilee’s Mt. Kenya segment is not comfortable with anybody from any other community or region taking over the Presidency from them and hence the plot to create the prime ministerial post transfer powers to it and fight to ensure that that seat got into the hands of President Kenyatta.
During the lengthy Bomas talks, it had initially been agreed that Kenya should adopt a bicameral Legislature and a dual-Executive system, with a Prime Minister as head of government and President as head of state.
Shortly after this was concluded, the then Attorney-General Amos Wako made alterations to it by re-introducing a presidential system and removing the clause on Senate. The draft was rejected during the November 2005 referendum by 58 per cent of the voters.
After the Wako draft was defeated, the Committee of Experts led by Dr. Nzamba Kitonga proposed a hybrid system, but this, too, faced problems with politicians, who wanted to overhaul the imperial presidency.
The Baringo Legislator in the proposed system, the Office of the President will be given ceremonial duties and will lead to the creation of the position of an executive Prime Minister who will be the head of government and leader of government business in the National Assembly.
The proposal to demote the office of the President to ceremonial duties is likely to trigger furious national debate, and eyes will be on President Kenyatta’s Jubilee Party, which enjoys a majority stake in Parliament to pass it.
The Bill proposes that The PM will exercise the executive authority of the state with the assistance of two deputies. The PM will be appointed by the President within seven days of the first sitting of the National Assembly after an election.
The other proposed duties of the PM will be to chair Cabinet meetings, direct and coordinate the functions of ministries and government departments, and assign responsibility for the implementation and administration of any Act of Parliament to deputy PMs.
Mr. Kamket is proposing that the PM be an elected member of the National Assembly with the additional role of leader of government business, and also seeks the scrapping of the Office of Deputy President.
The other areas the Bill is proposing changes is that for one to be elected President, one will have to be aged 50 and above. The president will serve a single term of seven years and will be elected by a joint sitting of Parliament.
The Bill also seeks to change the date of the general election from the second Tuesday of August to the second Tuesday of December of the fifth year.
Another radical proposal is to restructure the Senate from its current format. Every county, Mr. Kamket proposes, will have two senators, a man and woman, but they will be elected by the County Assembly.
Six other nominated senators will be nominated to represent the youth and persons living with disabilities.
The Jubilee Party parliamentary leadership has disowned a proposed Bill that seeks to create a powerful prime minister’s office while reducing the powers of the president.
Jubilee has rejected the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill and its sponsor, Tiaty MP Kamket, and cautioned the media to desist from linking the party to it which could only serve to cover up its ulterior designs.
The National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale has since publicly clarified that Mr. Kamket is a Kanu MP and declared that the Bill, which proposes to create a parliamentary system of government, has not been sponsored by the Jubilee Party.