A religious lobby group in Murang’a has added its voice in calling for constitutional and legal reforms.
Murang’a County Dialogue Conference group calls for change of the law specifically to reduce the number of representatives.
The group comprising community and religious leaders from various denominations proposes the national assembly to have 162 members whereby 150 will be elected in constituencies and 12 seats for special interest groups.
The leaders who were speaking after holding a two-day workshop at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Murang’a on Wednesday, stated that National and County Government ministries should be merged so as to control the escalating wage bill and accelerate service delivery.
They said constitutional changes should be aimed at protecting public resources and ensuring the residents get more benefits from their taxes.
Led by ACK Murang’a South Dioceses, Bishop Julius Karanu the religious leaders proposed that the runners-up in the gubernatorial elections should automatically be the senator to carry out the mandate of oversight over the county government.
Karanu argued that National Commission for Integration and Cohesion should be restructured and be renamed National Ethics and Civic Education Commission that must be inclusive in composition; gender, youth and persons with disability.
The leaders further challenged the government to put stringent measures to deter any acts of intimidation and harassment of female candidates before and after elections.
Karanu also said the government should reconstitute the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) with three commissioners and strengthen the secretariat.
“To scale down early campaigns, the IEBC must put clear timelines defining campaign timeframes. Any person conducting early campaigns should be made to resign from their positions,” added the Bishop.
Members of the group also expressed their concerns on deteriorating health services in some counties saying service delivery in the health sector should be shared function between the national and county governments.
“A health service commission needs to be established to cater for the human resource at the national level and county government to handle the daily management of health facilities. This should be established through an Act of the Parliament,” noted Karanu.
To curb challenges in health sector, the leaders called for timely disbursement of funds to health facilities saying the funds should be managed by Health management Committees and hospital boards but not county governments.
“Health sector is very crucial and should be given required attention so as to prevent suffering of patients and save lives,” added Karanu.
Meanwhile the religious leaders requested the President to declare corruption a national disaster so as to deal with it once and for all.
They said contributions during church and mosques events should be anonymous and personal.
“The church should not allow politicians to use her space as a platform for politics. All religious leaders are called upon to be on the fore front in the fight against corruption,” Karanu further stated.
By Bernard Munyao