KEY LEGISLATIVE ISSUES KENYA SHOULD ADDRESS

Kenya is a country in mid-life crisis; I have heard they that understand what a Mid Life crisis is say. I still have some years before I get into the dip of middle life ages but I guess, going by my experience as a Kenya, I bet I understand what this middle life crisis is.

Currently in Kenya, everything looks normal yet it is not normal. We seem to be progressing and yet not. We seem to have achieved yet not. We seem to have put dictatorship before us and yet not. We seem to have liberated ourselves from tribal dominion and yet not.  The Uhuruto government is very promising; but just as it promises greatness, it also seems to have seeds of destruction. We seem to have broken from the past and yet the status quo seems intact.

One of the things that gives us much hope is the new constitution. However, the constitution in itself are just papers and words on the papers. The operationalization of the constition is dependent on the operational bills passed by parliament, the good will in the implementation of bills by executive and the objective interpretation of the law by the Judiciary. Currently, the Judiciary is duly tyrannized by parochial interests. The executive is busy tyrannizing the international community over ICC and tyrannizing the opposition through numbers in parliament and money that quietly exchanges hands.

The Kenyan National Assembly is no longer an inspiring institution  and a center of hope to Kenyans. The trouble lies in the greed, gerrymandering, and the crowd that is parliament. Unless we get our legislative institutions right, it may be difficult to function as a democratic country. Here are some of the things that, I think,  need to be addressed if the legislature is to serve Kenyans optimally:-

1. It is not possible to have a meeting of 400 people and expect that they are all relevant. The number of MPs in the national assembly is more than necessary for healthy debate. We would rather have 94 members in the National assembly and 60 members in the senate for quality representation.

2. We do not need two houses that have equal powers.More so, we do not need to legislative houses discussing same issues. The constitution should be reviewed such that we clearly have an upper and a lower house; one house should have capacity to veto the other house. If not, then why not assume that bills from senate are to be reviewed by national assembly while bills from National assembly have to be evaluated by senate

3. Women reps should be sent to the senate. It is pointless having women run around a county only to be elected and reduced to the level of constituency representatives. Why not just have it that each county will produce two senators; a lady and a gentleman.

4. Education standards for county reps have to be evaluated now that they are demanding more than Kshs 300, 000 plus allowances. We have many educated Kenyans toiling everyday but earning peanuts; any review of salaries should take into account all Kenyans, their qualifications, their daily input and what they earn.

5. We have to move towards divorcing development execution or implementation from legislation. MPs and Senators should do legislation work and leave devolved funds like CDF to the devolved government or independent implementation institutions. In theory, it is assumed that MPs are mere patrons but in practicality, such monies are controlled by these not so honorable men and women

6. I think it was a mistake that presidential loosers are not given a life-line through nomination back into parliament. If  Raila, Peter Kenneth, Kalonzo, Dida etc were in parliament, I guess parliament would be more disciplined and focussed.


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