, NAIROBI, Kenya, March 8 – The National Civil Society Congress (NCSC) says attempts by Members of the National Assembly to extend the next General Election date from August 2017 to December is ill advised and motivated by their own selfish interests.
Speaking during a press conference on Sunday, the organisation’s leader Morris Odhiambo indicated that the legislators were only bent on extending their terms in office and should not hoodwink Kenyans.
He further pointed out that the election date can only be changed through a referendum since it is entrenched in the constitution.
“One of the arguments of the Members of Parliament right now is that if the elections are held in August 2017, they will not have done their full term of five years and we know constitutionally there is nothing like that,” he stated, arguing that “ An election is held on the second Tuesday in August in every fifth year. It doesn’t say they have to run for five years.”
He stressed on the need for the leaders to focus more on development issues rather than their own interests.
“To the extent that that is their core argument, the public must be aware that they are lying and misinterpreting the constitution. It is very clear that an election can be done in the first month or in the second month of the fifth year in the election cycle so that argument is null and void and we must treat it with the contempt it deserves,” he said.
He also reiterated calls for Lands Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu and the National Lands Commission chairman Muhammad Swazuri to resign as they have failed to implement the necessary land reforms in the land sector.
Odhiambo stated that their constant wrangles have contributed to the growing number of cartels in the sector which has resulted in the increase in criminal tactics in settling disputes over property.
He called on the two leaders to step down so that more capable people can take over their jobs.
“The Cabinet Secretary in charge of Ministry of Lands and the chairman of the National Lands Commission have failed and must now vacate their offices. These two have failed this country. We are seeing the rising specter of criminality. People are sorting out their land matters on the streets with bullets. It cannot get worse,” he said.” We wish to remind Kenyans that land reforms are one of the key areas of reform under the 2010 constitution.”
He stated that the formulation of the National Land Policy was meant to enable complete the overhaul of how land matters are governed and administered.
“The constitution emphasizes equality, efficiency, productivity and sustainability in the use of land. Equitable access to land, security of land rights, sustainable and productive management of land resources, transparent and cost effective administration of land and encouragement of communities to settle land disputes through recognized local community initiatives consistent with the constitution are given prominence,” he said.
He further expressed support for the High Court ruling that declared the CDF Act null and void.
“As Civil Society, since 2003, we have held that the CDF is unconstitutional, it was a slash fund for MPs to manage their campaigns at the local level. They can tell you that they build a classroom and a toilet, what they never tell you is what they have never done. We have also never seen any Audit of the CDF fund,” he said.