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CCM wants senators barred from running for governor’s seat before completing 5 years

Senators will not be eligible to vie for gubernatorial positions for a five year period after their current term of office ends, if recommendations by Chama Cha Mashinani (CCM) are implemented in the proposed constitutional reforms.

The party leader Isaac Ruto said the move will ensure that sitting senators do not sabotage governors and that the former oversight role is not influenced by political vendetta and sheer rivalry.

And in a bid to cure an existing legal loophole, the party proposes that once a vacancy arises in the office of the governor for whatever reason, IEBC should prepare for elections within 90 days once the seat is officially declared vacant.

Ruto, the former governor for Bomet County spoke during the party’s retreat in Nakuru Thursday to fine tune recommendations CCM party intends to present to the Building Bridges Initiative task force.

Among the other raft of radical recommendations that the party is proposing is that the Deputy President and Deputy Governors be appointed after elections to curb ethnicity in the country and that the occupants of the two offices must be of the opposite gender in relation to the president and governor respectively.

The party is also of the view that the President who should be a member of parliament, will not promote policies of any political party as he will be a symbol of national unity.

Ruto added that the president once elected, will be the head of state and shall appoint a prime minister from the largest party or coalition of parties. The prime minister who will also be a member of parliament will then appoint two deputy prime ministers from different political parties.

The former governor also recommended that Members of County Assembly be appointed as County Executive Committee Members as they understood local challenges better than professions, currently holding the positions.

The CCM’s position is that the president should be in charge of foreign affairs, immigration, internal security, environment and registration of persons’ departments. He will also remain the commander in chief of Kenya Defense Forces (KDF).

In the party’s recommended governance structure, the prime minister shall oversee functions of his two deputies, with one of them running service ministries and the other overseeing infrastructural ministries.

He said 45 percent of revenue of the previous financial year should be channeled to counties, with 15 percent of the amount being directly devolved to wards.

“We want the youth and women at ward levels to be empowered through businesses and tenders. Infrastructure for primary schools, Early Childhood Development Centres and other local projects, environmental conservation as well as protection of natural resources can be done at ward level,” he said.

The party leader also said local taxation should be reviewed downwards so that counties do not expand the tax net in manner that stifles economic growth of Kenyans, noting that some counties have imposed illegal and punitive tax regimes, thus over burdening the rural folk.

However, the party maintained that the President should be elected directly by Kenyans and that presidential electoral results should be announced at county level to enhance accountability and transparency.

He said the unsuccessful presidential candidate with the highest number of votes will be the automatic official leader of opposition in parliament.

CCM has also proposed changes to the structure and operations of IEBC, maintaining that it should have between seven to nine commissioners, proposed by political parties that have representation in Parliament and County Assemblies.

At the same time, Ruto suggested that all political parties with representation in the two entities be funded by the exchequer and that senate be made the upper house.

By   Jane Ngugi and David Mururia 

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