Kamanda dismisses Duale on referendum

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Nominated MP Maina Kamanda on Sunday told off National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale over his comments against a proposed referendum to relook at the 2010 Constitution.

Mr Kamanda said that Mr Duale’s comments were misplaced as Kenyans “want this referendum like tomorrow.”

“Let Duale not attempt to say that this referendum is about Raila Odinga. It is not. This thing is supported by people everywhere, even in Jubilee. We have seen the burden of this Constitution and we must rectify it,” Mr Kamanda told the Nation in Nairobi.

Mr Duale has in the last three days opposed the proposal for a referendum to alter Kenya’s political landscape.

“Jubilee Party will not be involved in the debate about reducing the number of electoral seats until it gets direction from President Uhuru Kenyatta. Our prime focus is on the Big Four Agenda,” Mr Duale said on Twitter on Sunday. Healthcare, affordable housing, and manufacturing as his main agenda projects in his second, legacy-driven term.

The Head of State dismissed the referendum early this year, saying his biggest focus was development.

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The referendum proposal is led by Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga, who wants Kenya to adopt the Bomas draft that proposed the creation of an executive prime minister office, whose holder will head the Cabinet.

In the Bomas draft of 2005, the Prime Minister would be the leader of the largest political party or coalition in the National Assembly and would be appointed by the President from among Members of Parliament with the approval of Parliament.

The Premier would have two deputy premiers, a maximum of 20, and a minimum of 15 ministers and an equal number of deputy ministers.

The ministers, the document proposed, would be appointed by the president upon being nominated by the Prime Minister from among members of the National Assembly, subject to the approval of the Senate.

Mr Kamanda has proposed the reduction of the number of MPs from 290 to 200, and the reduction of counties to 15.

“This Constitution as it is, is not sustainable. We must start discussing ways to make it work for us,” he said.

Separately, in a proposal to curb the rising cost of running the government, Dr Ekuru Aukot’s Thirdway Alliance proposed a Sh2 billion referendum to install 194 members of the National Assembly and the Senate down from the current 416.

The alliance also proposed the abolishment of the posts of chief administrative secretary and county and regional commissioners, processes the party said will save Kenya Sh31.8 billion and Sh5billion-per-annum, respectively.

Dr Aukot also wants the president to stop the use of his private jet and instead use the national carrier, Kenya Airways, on his foreign trips.

He further wants the scrapping 27 foreign missions he said were not of strategic importance to the country.

Top of all, he wants salaries for state officials caped at Sh500, 000 inclusive of allowances for the president, and Sh300, 000 for MPs, also inclusive of allowances.

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