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Kenya

Kalonzo roots for a referendum by September

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 19- Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka now says it is possible  to have a referendum by September, if the question is set by June by the Building Bridges Initiative Steering Committee.

Speaking Wednesday when he gave his party’s submissions to the Committee, Kalonzo said that it would be difficult to plan a referendum in 2021 and also prepare for 2022 succession politics.

“There will many conversations, but I think you would want to look at the next financial cycle because you may require to have some allocations from the Finance Ministry for  those matters that would need to be solved through a referendum,” Kalonzo said.

“I think you need to set the question before the end of June, then we can have this referendum by latest September because if you take it to 2021, then you may as well declare that the work of the steering committee will form the campaigns of 2022 and I am sure that is not your intention.”

In a raft of proposals that he submitted, Kalonzo pointed out that the party is in support of expanding the executive arm of the government with a powerful Prime Minister.

“We continue having the President who is the Chief Commander of the armed forces who will be deputized but if we are talking about inclusivity then we will need to expand the executive and have the office of the Prime Minister who will have two deputies,” he said.

The Wiper leader further recommended that the Senate be elevated to be the Upper House.

He said this should be anchored in the Constitution to avoid endless superiority wars between the Senate and the National Assembly.

This, the former Vice President said, will also ensure the Senate protects devolution since the current budget allocations are decided by the National Assembly, which enjoys the privileges of an upper house.

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Kalonzo also challenged the steering committee to ensure the independence of the Judiciary is clearly stipulated in law as well as the amount of funding its operations. 

Other recommendations that he made include adequate funding of the political parties and urged the committee to come up with measures that would address the issue of youth unemployment in the country among others.

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