, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 19 – Barely two weeks after the CORD coalition presented its OKOA Kenya draft Bill to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, a section of Jubilee MPs have expressed the intention of initiating their own, dubbed ‘Boresha Katiba’ to counter the opposition’s drive which aimed at amending the Constitution.
The MPs led by Narok North Gideon Konchella say they will form a bi-partisan select committee to review the defective portions of the Constitution before commencing a nationwide tour in a bid to collect three million signatures to meet the threshold required by law.
“We are proposing that an all-inclusive professional mechanism be put in place to amend the 20 percent of the Constitution deemed unsuitable,” said Konchella.
Part of their proposals include increasing devolved funds to 46 percent, having Cabinet Secretaries appointed from Parliament, increasing allocations to CDF, creation of a Ward Development Fund and devolution of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission.
“The proposed OKOA Kenya initiative is an ill-advised and selfish political gimmick aimed at realising the political ambitions of certain politicians,” said Konchella.
The MPs said they had audited the OKOA Kenya draft Bill and had developed better proposals which are ‘Wanjiku’ friendly.
Endebess MP Robert Pukose stated that the intended to seek the opinion of the public in what clauses of the Constitution needed amending to ensure their views were incorporated.
“We want to improve on our Constitution and we want to collect the views of Wanjiku,” said Pukose.
Other proposed amendments are a reduction of the number of commissions and commissioners to five, a review of Chapter 6 on Leadership and Integrity to classify crimes relating to economic sabotage and drug trafficking as capital offenses and a review of the management of economic crimes.
Mukurweini MP Kabando wa Kabando disputed claims that they were riding on the OKOA Kenya ‘glory’ saying they had stated the process way before the Opposition and even held a meeting with CORD leader Raila Odinga a day before their referendum bid was launched.
They in fact accuse the Opposition of hijacking the idea which had involved various leaders and legislators from the Opposition.
Despite earlier warning that a referendum in 2016 and another election in 2017 would be a recipe for chaos, the MPs defended their bid, saying theirs was for prosperity and not a political tool.
They however did not dismiss a possible merge with the Opposition to amalgamate their proposals which are similar.
“We are ready at some stage to talk to one another,” stated Asman Kamama.
They also disclosed that the party leadership was not privy to the initiative which was supported by 125 legislators saying were optimistic they would supportive.
There are two other referendum bids in play, one proposed by the Senate to allocate it more powers and another by the Council of Governors dubbed ‘Pesa Mashinani’ to increase resource allocation to counties.