A Summary of the #PunguzaMzigo (Constitution Amendment) Bill – For Busy Kenyans


Oh, come on. Don’t be embarrassed about it. I understand. We are busy. It is difficult to get time away from our busy social media lives to read the new constitutional amendment hullabaloo. You are not alone. Perhaps you have stumbled on a Facebook post by a friend responding to the bill and maybe threw one or two comments in passing. Fair play. Or that tweet that clipped its wings even before it hatched. You know, the general stuff. How if Raila has not talked about it, or Uhuru, then it is going nowhere. You know. Deep state and stuff. How we comment on things we have not read. How we avoid specificity for the beauty of generalization. Or how Ekuro Aukot is I don’t know what. You know how we are. Don’t lie. Plus most of us are allergic to reading. Except for those who will read this. This service is brought to you free of charge.

It is all about kupunguza mzigo. Reducing the burden on Kenyan taxpayers.

THING ONE: Strengthen Senate and National Assembly and reduce cost of running National Parliament

How?

  • Abolishing the 290 constituencies;
  • Adopting and using each of the 47 counties as a single constituency for purposes of parliamentary election to Senate and National Assembly;
  • Electing one man and one woman to the national assembly and to nominate only six members of parliament from special interest groups (SIGs). This will also consider gender equality so that of the sic (6) SIGs, there must be one man and one woman for each category. This, in fact, cures the elusive a third gender rule in Parliament.
  • Electing 47 Senators using the County as a single constituency.

 

THING TWO: Strengthen Devolution & Taking Services To Peoples Doorsteps
How?

  • Increasing Counties revenue share allocation to, at least, 35% from the current 15%. The people of Kenya are in the counties, wards and villages.
  • Use each of the 1450 Wards of Kenya as the primary unit of accelerated development replacing CDF hence taking development to the people’s doorsteps.

THING THREE: End Gender Imbalance, Inequality and Address The Elusive 1/3 Gender Rule In Elective Positions

 

How?

  • End historical gender inequality and ensure that Kenyans elect one man and one woman from each of the 47 Counties to the National Assembly. This abolishes the women representative position.

THING FOUR: Demystify The Presidency & End A Culture Of Electoral Violence Associated With Power Of Incumbency

 

How?

  • Introduce a one 7-year term presidency

Why?

  • To end the “do or die” culture of re-election that is responsible for the history of violence, ethnic and political tensions
  • With two terms, the focus has always been on re-election rather than service delivery
  • One-term presidency will be ending theft of public money
  • stop the cyclical economic meltdown caused by incumbents clinging to power
  • Reduce wage bill.

 

THING FIVE: Reduce Public Wage Bill And Recurrent Expediture.
How?

  • Reduce cost of running parliament from current KES 36.8 billion to less than
    KES 5 billion per year. This saves tax payers KES 31.8 billion.
  • Abolish nominations in the National Assembly (except for 6 SIGs), County
    Assemblies and Senate.
  • Stop wastage of public funds and cap salaries of elected leaders to a maximum and consolidated pay of KES 500,000 for the President and KES 300,000 for the MP per month. All elected leaders will not be paid any other allowances (sitting allowance, car grant and Mortgage allowance). SRC to determine salaries of other elected leaders.
  • Abolish the position of Deputy Governor. The Governor to nominate from among the duly vetted and appointed County Executive Officers, one of them to be his principal Assistant for purposes of administration. In the unlikely event of the position of Governor falling vacant, the Governor to be elected in a fresh by election.
  • Constitutional commissions to comprise of not more than 5-part time members who will be sitting on a necessity basis and shall be paid a sitting allowance per sitting as will be set by the SRC

 

THING SIX: Enforce Integrity, End Corruption & Theft of Public Money

 

  • Amend Chapter 6 of the Constitution to automatically adopt recommendations of public inquiry and audit reports and bar all adversely mentioned individuals from holding any public or state office. This will end both impunity and corruption and instill a culture of accountability for those serving in the public service.
  • Corruption and theft of public resources cases to be tried within 30 days and all appeals to be exhaustively concluded within 15 days.
  • Impose a life sentence for suspects convicted of corruption and theft of public funds. No presidential pardon and amnesty will be applicable in those cases.

THING SEVEN: Reduce Cost of Running Elections & Registration of Voters

How?

  • Every Kenyan at the age of 18 and who acquires a national identity card shall be deemed to be a fully registered voter for purposes of elections and referenda.

Why?

  • To save Kenyans and IEBC billions of shillings for the continuous registration of voters.

 

That is it. Not too long, right? Now have quality discussions about the bill that actually talk about the contents of the bill itself and what it hopes to achieve and not those general statements we all make just because we are too lazy to critique the specific aspects.

Click here to read the entire Punguza Mzigo (Constitution of Kenya Amendment) Bill, 2019

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