Mercy Mwai @wangumarci
Differences over the push for a referendum came out in the open yesterday after some MPs from Western region told the 14-member Building Bridges Initiative taskforce to step aside and allow them to spearhead the talks.
Consequently, the MPs opposed calls to create additional posts including that of Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister.
The lawmakers also outlined a raft of proposals that they want including the scrapping of some Senate seats, reduction of Members of County Assembly to four per constituency, who will double up as County Executive Committee (CEC) officers as well as appointment of MPs to the Cabinet. They also want the number of constituencies reduced.
According to the MPs, those to be appointed as CEC’s should have at least a diploma certificate. MPs Justus Murunga (Matungu), Didmus Barasa (Kimilili), Tindi Mwale (Butere), Titus Khamala (Lurambi), Mwambu Mabonga (Bumula) and Ayub Savula (Lugari) said over representation is burdening Kenyans.
“The position of CEC should be done away with and MCAs be appointed as ministers. These are the things we will be looking at once the Bill is ready, passed by Parliament, it will go to County Assemblies,” he said.
Addressing the press yesterday, the MPs said they have taken over the matter to ensure that activists do not hijack the process.
They argued that a team of 50 MPs which met yesterday morning at a Nairobi hotel agreed to meet again soon to spearhead changes to the Constitution.
Led by Savula, the legislators said the constitutional challenges facing the country, including overrepresentation are as a result of activists being allowed to have their way during the making of the 2010 Constitution.
MPs are keen on dealing with this matter as they are representatives of Kenyans and thus understand their problems,” he said.
Barasa said they want amendments to the Constitution to be pro-people and not to overburden them with additional posts.
Murunga said after the audit on the Constitution was done it was clear that Kenyans are overburdened.
“We have overburdened Kenyans and now we need to free them once and for all by amending this Constitution,” he said.
The sentiments by the MPs come at a time when Thirdway Alliance party leader Ekuru Aukot is seeking to reduce the number of MPs to 194, down from the current 416 members in both the National Assembly and Senate.