Uhuru and Raila’s Team Seek to Maintain a Powerful President and a Non-Executive PM

President Uhuru Kenyatta greeting former prime Minister Raila Odinga as Garissa Township MP Aden Duale looks on at a past event.

Kenyatta’s and ODM leader, Odinga’s teams on constitutional reforms have decided on a hybrid system of government that will see a non-executive prime minister elected by members of parliament.

The steering committee of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) is expected to submit it’s final documents to President Uhuru and Raila Odinga on Tuesday. The document will be proposing presidential and parliamentary systems.

In the report, BBI is expected to advocate for a powerful President and Deputy as well as a prime minister having two deputies.
Kenyans will still be voting to elect the president who will retain his position as the head of state and the government. The report seeks to maintain the Deputy President’s position as the principal assistant to the president.

The BBI report proposes that the President may dismiss the Prime Minister through a vote of no confidence in the National Assembly.
As the Leader of Government Business in the National Assembly, the Prime minister will have powers to execute and supervise.the everyday functions and the affairs of the government.

“There is no major departure from the report that was made public at Bomas of Kenya. The post of PM remains. The President will have nominated PM from among Members of Parliament for approval. There will be two deputies,” one of the steering committee members said.

The report also suggests that Nairobi, being the Country’s capital city, and the challenges it faces, should be addressed differently.
“Our report is that Nairobi be addressed differently. You have seen Nairobi has some unique challenges that require special attention. The number of counties will have to remain 47,” he added.

“The counties will remain 47, with Nairobi as Metropolis with the county assembly. The issue of the executive will be settled by the leaders. This is a unique county and cannot be treated like others,” said an MP.
“We will also have Cabinet secretaries (CS) appointed from among MPs in Parliament while others from other fields,” he said.

Led by Budalangi MP Raphael Wanjala, the members of parliament protested last Thursday over delays in addressing issues that arise in the National Assembly. The MP said that the main reason behind that was the absence of the CSs in the house.

“When we seek a statement in this House, they take over three months to be addressed. Past speakers ensured they are solved within a week,” Mr. Wanjala said.

“You chose a presidential system. Choices have consequences. I sympathize with you, but it’s the governance structure we have. You should persuade Kenyans to change it,” Speaker Justine Muturi said describing Wanjala’s assertions as “lamentation”.

According to Speaker Muturi, the previous structure was different from the current structure because the Executives were present in the House. On the other hand, the CSs are the ones represented by the committee chairs in the current system.

In the BBI report, the creation of an independent treasury dealing will be proposed.

“The law requires an agency to deal with the revenue issues and therefore this independent office, whose structures will be legislated, will de-link the National Treasury and counties’ treasures from this office. It will be the overall and there is consensus among the team members,” Another MP said.

The Senator Yusuf Haji team proposes that allocation of money to counties be pushed to 35% making county governors and MCAs the biggest winners in the proposed system.

The BBI steering committee did not consider the initial proposal where presidential candidates were to choose their running mates from the opposite gender.

President Kenyatta and Raila are supposed to meet and provide a way out before the report is publicized.

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