NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 4 – Calls for a referendum to reduce the number of representatives in the country continue to spark sharp division among elected leaders and even ordinary citizens.
Speaking to Capital FM News, Senate Legal and Justice Affairs Committee Chair Samson Cherargey said those pushing for a referendum are doing so for their own political mileage.
“If you see people sponsoring a referendum, there are the same people who Okoa Kenya flopped flat on their faces and I want to thank the drafters because they knew there were some people who would come to amend the Constitution. They are now calling for a referendum, whose referendum is it because it is not Wanjiku’s?” Cherargey wondered.
Tiaty MP William Kamket however had a different opinion and said that it is high time for the country to realise that the 2010 Constitution is expensive and a referendum to amend it would be the only solution.
“There are some things we cannot run away from as a country and a time has come we do what we ought to have done long time ago. I am happy that everyone is now talking about the referendum because life will change if we amend the Constitution now that we have realised it is draining us,” he outlined.
Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria on Wednesday supported the proposal to amend the Constitution and reduce the number of leadership positions but urged other leaders not to push for the creation of the Prime Minister’s position and introduction of a parliamentary system of governance.
“We know that there are some leaders who want to take advantage of the constitutional amendments and push for the creation of some non-existing positions. They should forget this because it will not be possible,” Kuria said.
Separately, a proposal signed by Thirdway Alliance Leader Ekuru Aukot proposed for a Sh2 billion referendum to install a total of 194 National Assembly Members and Senators down from 416.
He further proposes the abolishment of the Chief Administrative Secretary post, County and Regional Commissioner positions, a process he said would save the country Sh31.8 billion and Sh5 billion per year respectively.
Kenyans who had earlier spoken to Capital FM expressed optimism that the reduction of representation would reduce the wage bill and reduce the cost of living.
Edwin Oloo a businessman in Nairobi attributed the high living cost to heavy taxation and increased wage bill in the country to over representation and too many government employees who need to be paid.
He added that some positions need to be scrapped off stating that some leaders are not felt at the grassroots.
“Honestly the country is headed to the wrong direction and we do not need all these leaders in the government because they end up doing the same job. We need leaders who only have the interest of Kenyans at heart and who will utilize taxpayer money in the right manner,” said Oloo.
Calls for a constitutional amendment were ignited by NASA leader Raila Odinga but Deputy President William Ruto has strongly opposed such calls insisting that it is not the government’s priority at the moment.