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KARA opposed to Senate

NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 16 – The Kenya Alliance of Resident Associations (KARA) is opposed to the establishment of a two-tier Parliament as contained in the Harmonised Draft Constitution.

Chief Executive Officer Stephen Mutoro says the proposed Senate would be an unnecessary burden to the taxpayer.

“The proposed Senate has no clear provision of powers that will enable it carry out its role effectively,” Mr Mutoro said in the press statement.

He recommended that a provision for annual meetings between the National Government and District representatives could replace the Senate proposal.

“The new constitution should provide for a clear system of government which should either be Presidential or Parliamentary but not a hybrid,” he said and explained that the proposed system of government is unclear and likely to promote confusion and conflict.

He stressed the need for a clear distinction to be made on who should have the last word, be it the President or the Prime Minister.

“Should a parliamentary system be settled upon, the President should be elected by an electoral college and his functions clearly spelled out.”

He explained that Section 184 (3) should have a provision for at least half of the ministers coming out of Parliament but that proper vetting procedures and checks and balances need to be provided on how the non-parliamentary ministers should be appointed.

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“Under chapter 13 on the Judicial and Legal System, KARA supports the composition and powers of the proposed Judicial Service Commission (JSC).”

According to Mr Mutoro however, the commission’s role should be confined to the appointment and removal of judges only. Section 205 has attempted to depoliticise the process of judges appointment but still provides a role for Parliament. KARA welcomed the move but emphasised the need for Parliament not to be involved in the process.

Mr Mutoro said that Parliament should only be informed of the JSC decision and this will lead to an impartial mechanism of appointment which does not involve the President. 

He emphasised the need to carefully review the drafting of the Harmonised Draft Constitution with the aim of removing unnecessary details, ambiguities and inconsistencies contained in the document.

He stated that a new constitution will enable the country to address the various challenges faced by its citizens. He pointed out that the current constitution provides a system of government that has failed to live to the expectation of citizens.

He explained that it has also concentrated a lot of power in one institution and promoted negative ethnicity together with incessant corruption.

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