The Maendeleo Chap Chap Party is proposing the reduction in the number of elective posts and nominations as one of the cures in taming the runaway wage bill.
In a nine- page validation document presented to the Building Bridges Steering Committee task force, the party argued that Kenyans feel overburdened by the large number of legislators beginning from the national level to the county level and therefore the need to reduce the same.
While making recommendations on Wednesday, the party leader Governor, Dr. Alfred Mutua proposed a drastic cut in the number of Members of Parliament from the current 347 to 290.
The party similarly recommends the creation of slots for 2 Senators for each of the 14 to 16 proposed Regional governments, a shift from the current 67 legislators who sit at the Senate Assembly.
“We propose that a way be found to reduce legislative positions in the National Parliament and devolved assemblies by having 2 Senators representing each of the 14 – 16 Regional Governments and abolishing the close to 1,000 nominated Members of County Assembly positions,” read part 5 of the recommendation.
The party further backs the proposal to have Members of Parliament given ministerial duties and creation of the office of the official leader of opposition with benefits befitting his stature.
This, according to the proposal, will address the problem of frequent street demos that are synonymous with each passing general election when the losing candidates feel they have been shortchanged.
In addition, according to the party, candidates running for the presidency should simultaneously be allowed to go for legislative seats as was in the old constitution.
“Besides creation of the office of the leader of official opposition with proper resources and pecking order, we propose that persons running for executive positions should also be allowed to run for legislative positions. This will accord them a platform to address their policy issues where one loses the ultimate position and reduce appetite for street demonstrations, which in our current scenario are the only option for election losers, “read another section of the document which also backs the creation of the post of a President, Deputy President, Prime Ministers and two deputies.
And to avoid marginalization of smaller political parties, the party roots funding to be based on number of votes garnered in every election and not in the size of the membership of a particular party.
Dr. Mutua also proposes that any amendment to the current constitution be undertaken through a national referendum and be in place at least 18 months before the next general election.
On Tuesday this week, the three governors from the lower Eastern region unanimously pledged their support for the ongoing debate on the BBI.
While addressing a joint media briefing in Machakos the trio, including Dr. Alfred Mutua, Charity Ngilu (Kitui) and their Makueni counterpart, Prof. Kivutha Kibwana similarly promised to continue working together to uplift the lives of the people in the region despite their diverse political affiliations.
Ngilu said the region was also fully behind the realization of changes to the constitution through the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI), adding that the gains of the bid cannot be gainsaid.
She nevertheless called for creation of more positions for women to help empower them, but was quick to challenge women to come out and go for senior leadership roles instead of complaining from the sidelines.
“Kenya has enough resources to be shared among the 47 million people. We want to bring this wealth together for the benefit of the people through the amendment to the constitution which will ensure more resources are channeled to the counties,” she said.
Dr. Mutua on his part backed BBI referendum drive, saying he believed the initiative will cure the curse of electoral violence that had become synonymous with every general election.
The county boss said as leaders of the lower eastern region, they shall continue pushing for the recognition of the needs of the area and ensure they eventually form part and parcel of the final document.
By Samuel Maina