Former Senator proposes referendum, calls for parliamentary system of governance

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Former  Murang’a County Senator, Kembi  Gitura  has  proposed  a  referendum  to  change the constitution before 2022 elections.

Speaking  at  Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) public hearing forum in Murang’a County  on Thursday, Kembi called for  parliamentary  system  of  governance that allows leader of the political party with majority of seats in parliament to take  over the country’s leadership.

However, such a system should come after a proportional representation in parliament, whereby all members of parliament,  both Senate and National Assembly, will be representing by an equal number of people as opposed to representation of an  area being determined by geographical size, he added.

Kembi  who  is  also  the non- executive Chairman of Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (KEMSA) said that there was need  to change the  constitution in order to create a bridge into 2023 by changing the current electoral system with a new  one.

He  said that Kenya should adopt a party list proportional representative election by putting stringent system and laws  that  will  see parties carry out credible elections, adding that perception of improper representation has been the  reason  for disputed election outcomes that leads to election violence.

Kembi  observed that while contested parliamentary disputes are resolved through petitions, disputes around presidential  elections in Kenya have many times escalated to disruption of peace. He said that parliamentary system is working in South  African.

The  former  senator  also called for formation of Regional Assemblies as opposed to the current system where each county  has   its  own assembly arguing that it would cut the cost of running the counties.

He  also  said  that  all  counties  in  a  given  region  should  have  one governor, noting that even the current counties leadership  is forming regional blocks to steer development in their areas. “This means that the counties as currently  constituted may not be viable,” he said.

Kembi  also  proposed  for  scrapping  of  Nairobi City County, saying that since it is the country’s capital and the seat of  government, it should be put under a minister and a mayor elected by the people and also members of Parliament to  represent the people, with no members of the county assembly.

He  said  that  it  would help reduce conflict that may be witnessed in cases where the city governor may not be in good  terms  with  the  president.

The  public hearing forum was steered by Building Bridges to Unity Advisory Taskforce Chief Administrator, Dr. Stephen  Karau and the Chairman, Senator Yusuf Haji. The forum was attended by Governor Mwangi Wa Iria, Senator  Irungu Kang’ata and County Women Representative, Sabina Chege among other leaders.

By  Judith  Thuo

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