Garissa Town MP Aden Duale during the Pastoralist Parliamentary Group meeting held at Sarova Panafric,Nairobi. July 25,2019.
Garissa Town MP Aden Duale during the Pastoralist Parliamentary Group meeting held at Sarova Panafric,Nairobi. July 25,2019.
Image: DOUGLAS OKIDDY
 

By Correspondent

The National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale has told Mt Kenya MPs off over their hard stance on a possible shift from current presidential to a parliamentary system of governance.

In a statement to newsrooms Sunday, the Garissa Township MP said the Central Kenya region does not have a monopoly to the presidency.

His remarks come hardly a week after Mt Kenya MPs announced that the region will reject the Building Bridges Initiative task force report recommending a parliamentary system of government.  

 

“To my colleagues from Mt Kenya, the country belongs to all of us. Since Independence, Central Kenya has dominated the leadership, and it is high time that we spread both political and economic dominance horizontally,” he said. 

The move, he said, will create an all-inclusive and stable nation for future generations.

He added: “I have been consistent since the 2010 constitutional change process that the best governance system for Kenya should be the parliamentary one, where all communities will have an opportunity to lead the country. ” 

Duale said the system would make leadership cease to be a preserve of the five big communities forming a winning coalition using their tyranny of numbers.”

Since Independence in 1963, the presidency has been occupued by only Kikuyu and Kalenjin leaders.

President Mzee Jomo Kenyatta ruled from Independence until 1978 when he passed on.

 His Vice President Daniel Moi took over until 2002. Mwai Kibaki took over and ruled until 2013 and handed over to President Uhuru Kenyatta who will rule until 2022.

 

Duale’s comments concurs with those of Raila and his lieutenants who are also rooting for the parliamentary system of governance. 

Deputy President William Ruto and nine-year-old Shirleen Wanjiru during a church service at Karatina PCEA in Nyeri county.
Deputy President William Ruto and nine-year-old Shirleen Wanjiru during a church service at Karatina PCEA in Nyeri county.
Image: DPPS

The ODM politicians say it will create institutions that guard against oppressive leaders.

Duale maintained he will support a referendum to introduce a parliamentary system of government to end what he described as “post-presidential election chaos”.

The lawmaker said Kenya’s problem lies in the presidential system that has continued to brew ethnic tensions and exclusivity as major tribes control both economic and political power.

Last week, MPs from President Uhuru Kenyatta’s backyard promised to shoot down any attempts to alter the presidential system.

They said that while the region has a huge population, they are under-represented in terms of parliamentary seats.

The BBI task force which was headed by Garissa Senator Yusuf Haji concluded writing the report on nine issues last week and is expected to present it to the President and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga anytime this week.

Uhuru left the country last week on Sunday after Mashujaa Day celebrations in Mombasa for Japan but flew to Russia from there.

He arrived back on Friday night and spent Saturday celebrating his 58th birthday.

It is understood that on Saturday evening, secretary to Cabinet Joseph Kinyua briefed on the President contents of the report.  Uhuru is said to have sought legal advice on the position to take in the matter.

However, Duale a key figure in the ruling Jubilee Party, proposed that the BBI should recommend that the country adopts the Westminister model of a pure parliamentary system.

“This will ensure election contests are at the constituency level making both Bomas and the Supreme Court lose relevance regarding elections.

“Ministers will also come from Parliament and the Prime Minister will be answering questions there from the people’s representatives,” he said.

Duale said should there be no shift to a parliamentary system, some changes should be instituted so that ministers are drawn from Parliament.  

He is proposing that Kenya borrows from the French model and that the office of the Leader of Opposition be anchored in the Constitution.

Ruto is however on record as opposing the re-introduction of the PM position arguing that it does not solve the issue of ‘winner take it all’ presidential system.

“The suggestion on the Prime Minister’s post has two problems: It does not solve the problem, which is that we need a functional, constitutional official opposition; and if created, it would still be taken by the winning party,” he said in February this year when he spoke in Chatham House, London.

The DP suggested that instead of the PM’s position, an official opposition should be created.

The national Executive should be headed by the President, while the Official Opposition should headed by the leader of the party or coalition of parties whose presidential candidate wins the second highest votes, he said. 

The DP also said the Leader of Opposition will handle matters of the losing side in  in Parliament, while the Deputy President should take over the leadership of government business.

Gatundu South Moses Kuria who has since opposed change to parliamentary system citing lack of numbers for Mt Kenya region to win any position read mischief in Duale’s proposal.

He claimed that Duale is not serious in pushing for the change of governance structure but is instead using the proposal to scare the Agikuyu community to reject BBI.

“Aden Duale’s tirade against Mt Kenya is a facade. Don’t be fooled that Duale supports a parliamentary system. He knows that by purporting to support a parliamentary system he infuriates Mt Kenya to the core. And that is how Duale and his master will defeat any change by deploying scarecrows,” he wrote on his Facebook page.

“Since Duale is already positioning himself to be comptroller of State House in 2022, there is no way he wants any change in the architecture of the presidency as it is. So, my friend, we know your handwriting,” he added.

In Nyeri county, more than 10 MPs who had accompanied the DP promised to rally Kenyans to reject the BBI report if it’s about the change of Constitution to create positions for some few individuals.

The leaders said BBI was a top-down initiative that has nothing to do with mwananchi at the grassroots.

They said the composition of BBI was biased, noting that those from the ODM wing were lawyers and professionals well versed in matters of the law while the Jubilee side was represented by leaders whose area of interest was in peace and reconciliation.

The leaders included MPs Rigathi Gachagua (Mathira), John Muchiri (Manyatta), Jayne Kihara (Naivasha), Kimani Ngunjiri (Bahati), Gichuki Mwangi (Tetu), Rehema Jaldesa (Women Rep, Isiolo), Mugambi Rindikiri (Buuri), Halima Mucheke (nominated), Aisha Jumwa (Malindi), Rahab Mukami (Women Rep, Nyeri) and Gichugi Mugambi (Othaya).

Speaking at Gachagua’s  Mathira home, the MPs said proponents of BBI were pursuing selfish agenda at the expense of issues affecting Kenyans.

“Neither Punguza Mizigo nor BBI will see the light of the day. That’s the reality of things at the grassroots,” Gichuki said.

Jaldesa said Kenyans will not allow some few individuals to elect a president for them.

“The Constitution should first be fully implemented before plans to change it are brought to Kenyans,” she noted.

Aisha Jumwa said it is the responsibility of Kenyans to elect leaders, noting that those calling supporting efforts to amend the Constitution were pursuing selfish interests.

“It must be understood that Kenyans must and will always elect their President and not few individuals to do it on their behalf,” Jumwa said.