An MP has filed a motion seeking to amend the Constitution to reduce the number of Cabinet secretaries to 14. Vincent Mogaka (West Mugirango) also proposes a hybrid system of government where MPs will be appointed as Cabinet ministers. The lawmaker also wants the name Cabinet secretaries be changed to Cabinet ministers.
Mogaka says the objective of the Bill is to reduce the bloated public wage bill and also ensure MPs have an opportunity to ask Cabinet ministers questions on the floor of the House.
This is the second motion to be proposed on the same. Soy MP Caleb Kositany has filed motion in Parliament seeking to abolish Senate, nominated MPs and Members of County Assembly (MCAs) to reduce wage bill.
Kositany says if the bill is passed, the country will save Sh3 billion annually. “I wish to state that the objective of the Bill is to reduce the overall cost of representation of the public, reduce the wage bill and promote use of public funds,” he says in a letter to National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi.
“This is, therefore, to request you to kindly authorise the legal services directorate to assists me in drafting of the bill,” he avers in his letter.
The two proposals come in the wake of calls for a referendum to change the Constitution to reduce the elective positions which have been blamed for the high wage bill.
This is not the first time the call is being made to scrap the Senate. Past calls to scrap were hinged on duplication of roles, high wage bill, among others.
Senators’ major role is oversight of county governments and to legislate matters pertaining to the operations of the 47 devolved units. There has also been concern on the role of the nominated MPs and MCAs.
Apart from the MPs, civil societies and trade unionists have also called for the amendment of the Constitution to reduce the number of elective positions.
While Senators earn about Sh740, 000 basic monthly salary; including allowances, with the figure likely to go beyond Sh 1million a month, MCAs earn as much.
Questions have also been raised on the role played by the Independent Commissions some of which perform roles done by others.