Senate should be abolished or given more power, MPs say

This conclusion came after an audit of the cost of implementing the Constitution.

The Senate should be abolished or given more power, a parliamentary committee has said.

The public should decide, in a referendum in the 2022 General Election, whether governors should be appointed instead of being elected.

The limiting of the terms of woman representatives should also be discussed.

Also up for debate is whether future Cabinet Secretaries should be appointed from among members of the National Assembly and the Senate, the Budget committee has said.

In a report tabled in the National Assembly on Thursday, the committee agreed that Kenyans are over-represented.

Among options worth exploring were abolishing or strengthening the Senate and reducing the number of nominated ward reps and affirmative action on the one third gender rule.

The committee said it is not clear whether the Senate has oversight over the county executive the way the county assembly has.

The Senate has no direct link with the assemblies and the county executives, it said.

Should governors have a member of the opposite gender as their running mate and whether ward reps should be one per constituency were other issues raised.

These radical proposals were made based on a report from a socio-economic audit of the Constitution by Auditor-General Edward Ouko. The report was presented to the committee in October last year.

Its recommendations come a day after the President cited the huge public wage bill as the biggest threat to Kenya’s development.

He backed a recommendation by the salaries commission to cut the salaries of all elected officials after the August election.

Budget Committee chairman Mutava Musyimi said MPs are not overpaid, but there are too many and should be reduced.

The committee agreed with Mr Ouko that judges should be cautious when handling parliamentary business.

“Kenyans are paying dearly for the expanded Judiciary and hence their roles and relevance should be discussed.

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Written by Daily Nation

The Nation Media Group (NMG) founded by His Highness the Aga Khan in 1959 has become the largest independent media house in East and Central Africa. It has been quoted on the Nairobi Stock Exchange since the early 1970s.

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