Nasa looks to Bomas draft for radical changes to laws

Nasa has promised to amend the Constitution to establish a hybrid executive system which will have a President and a Prime Minister as a way of sharing power and ensuring inclusivity.

The National Super Alliance manifesto launched on Tuesday night says the current system favours large communities and encourages the kind of exclusion that it accuses the Jubilee administration of engendering.

“A hybrid parliamentary system based on the Bomas draft will not only allow individuals from smaller communities to rise to the highest office in the land but also encourage an inclusive system of power sharing,” states the document.

In the draft of the Constitution produced at the Bomas of Kenya Delegates Conference in 2005, there was to be a President, Deputy President, Prime Minister and ministers.

DEPUTY PREMIERS

The Premier would be the head of the Cabinet and appointed by the President. There would also be two deputy premiers and a maximum of 20 and minimum of 15 ministers.

Nasa presidential candidate Raila Odinga was PM in the coalition government headed by retired President Mwai Kibaki.

He was deputised by his Nasa co-principal Musalia Mudavadi and President Uhuru Kenyatta.

READ: Nasa manifesto pushes changes to Constitution

In the Bomas draft, the Prime Minister, who had to be the leader of the largest political party or coalition in the National Assembly, would be appointed from among MPs with Parliament confirming their agreement with the President by voting.

SUPREMACY

The amendments proposed by the opposition coalition would be possible without going to a referendum as they would not relate to the supremacy of the Constitution, the territory of Kenya, sovereignty, national principles and values of governance or the Bill of Rights.

Some governors seated as they wait for the launch of Nasa manifesto at Water Front Ngong racecourse on June 27, 2017. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Some governors seated as they wait for the launch of Nasa manifesto at Water Front Ngong racecourse on June 27, 2017. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Nor do they touch on the President’s term, functions of Parliament or the independence of the Judiciary and the commissions or devolved governments.

They are, however, bound to take time to implement as a Bill to change the Constitution would take at least six months to pass in Parliament.

The coalition could, however, draw criticism on this account as it pledges in the manifesto to abide by the current Constitution, which it claims the Jubilee regime has undermined and sought to subvert in the same way the Independence constitution was subverted.

AMENDMENTS

“Today, we stand at a similarly critical juncture,” Nasa states in its manifesto. “We are offering Kenyans the choice between faithful implementation of our new constitutional dispensation and yet another triumph of the old order.”

Also among a raft of amendments to Kenya’s laws that Nasa deems necessary is the review of laws seen as an impediment to addressing historical injustices to make them compatible with the Constitution.

“An example of such laws is the Indemnity Act,” says the manifesto.

Enacted in 1970, the Act prohibits the making of claims of compensation regarding acts committed in Isiolo, Marsabit, Tana River and Lamu districts between Christmas Day in 1963 and December 1, 1967.

GENDER PARITY

Nasa promises to “consolidate and refine” the Constitution to bring about gender parity in political governance.

It also pledged to speed up amendments to the Intergovernmental Relations Act to strengthen the Intergovernmental Relations Technical Committee to facilitate relations between the two levels of government.

The committee took over from the Transition Authority and is headed by former Permanent Secretary Karega Mutahi.

IMPROVE RELATIONS

Nasa also pledged legislation to improve relations between senators and county governments, which have at times been adversarial.

It  would work with the devolved units to clarify the distributions of functions under the Fourth Schedule.

It would also enact a law to enable counties to provide infrastructure in primary and secondary schools.

On completion of the transfer of all functions and resources, Nasa would then reorganise institutions that manage resources across counties, such as roads, water boards and regional development authorities.

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