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Moses Kuria makes U-turn on referendum, backs calls for Prime Minister position

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Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria has made a U-turn on the call for a referendum.

Kuria is now supporting constitutional changes to create the position of prime minister, official opposition leader and reduce the number of nominated MPs and MCAs.

The legislator has submitted a six-point proposal to the Building Bridges Task Force.

The MP now wants the executive expanded to allow for a more inclusive leadership.

He says under the 2010 Constitution, Kenyan’s presidential system is structured in a sharp pyramidical structure that comprises only two senior executive members at the top tier of leadership; the president and the deputy president.

Read: Moses Kuria: ‘Kenya can’t hold referendum to create jobs for three old men’

“While this system may be ideal in a homogeneous society, it contributes to feelings of exclusion in diverse societies like Kenya where citizens still identify inclusion in leadership with members of their communities occupying space in the top tier of leadership,” the MP says.

He further states, “It is therefore critical that Kenya’s executive framework is expanded to allow for more inclusion. While such expansion cannot accommodate every aspect of Kenya’s diversity, it will, when coupled with a strong devolved government system, allow a leadership at the top that more effectively reflects the face of Kenya.”

Kuria wants each party presenting candidates in a presidential election to present a team of five candidates.

The team will comprise of the president who shall not be a member of parliament, the deputy president who shall not be a member of parliament and a prime minister who may vie as a member of the national assembly and who, if not be elected, will automatically become a nominated member of the national assembly if the president wins.

Also included will be a deputy prime minister who may vie as an MP and who, if not be elected, will automatically become a nominated member of the National Assembly.

If the president wins, the second deputy prime minister may vie as a member of the Senate and who, if not be elected, will automatically become a nominated member of the Senate if the president wins.

Secondly, Kuria says not more than one candidate for the above positions should be from the same ethnic community and the prime ministers and the deputy prime ministers shall be members of the cabinet.

On reducing the burden of representation, Kuria states that in the last several decades, the public sector wage bill has continued to grow exponentially without a corresponding improvement in service delivery.

He says one of the sectors in which this is evident is the political sector where the number of representatives is unduly high.

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Read also: Moses Kuria tells off Raila over Constitution change

“Under the 2010 Constitution, each Kenyan is represented by an MCA, a governor, a member of the national assembly, a senator, a woman rep, a president, and deputy president. They are also represented by about 1,000 nominated MCAs, and MPs. The effect of this over-representation is not just to expand government expenditure both in terms of salaries, allowances, supporting infrastructure and numerous other hidden costs, but it also leads to duplication of services, jurisdictional fights, and general inefficiency,” Kuria says.

He proposes that there shall be no nominated members of the county assembly, there shall be no position of the woman representative in the national assembly, there shall be no position of nominated senators.

Kuria also wants only nine nominated members of the national assembly – three representing persons with disabilities, three representing the youth and three representing women.

With regards to the creation of an effective opposition to hold the state to account, Kuria said the governance framework in Kenya under the 2010 Constitution had unduly diluted the effectiveness of the opposition.

He said under article 108, the entire opposition framework is comprised solely of the Minority Leader who is not necessarily the party leader and is only a leader of the party’s representatives in Parliament.

He said the person, therefore, does not automatically command the loyalty or allegiance of the public who voted for the opposition neither does he⁄she exhibit the profile of a substantive leader of the opposition, who politically remains the losing runner-up in the presidential election.

Kuria claims the latter, who is the face of the political opposition, is left out of Parliament.

He says that person is not able to effectively oversee their party’s opposition to government inside the house.

“Furthermore, no infrastructure or financial and other resources exist that enable this office to effectively hold the government accountable,” Kuria states.

The MP proposes the first runners-up in the presidential election become an automatic nominated member of the National Assembly and occupy the office of the Leader of the official Opposition.

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Sonko hits out at State team taking over city : The Standard

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Director General of NMS Mohamed Badi.

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has taken on the team that was set up to take over core city functions from his administration.

He has accused the team, operating under the aegis of the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS), of allegedly trying to hijack functions that were not transferred to the national government.
Mr Sonko said in a statement yesterday that “overzealous individuals” within the national government were out to frustrate the Deed of Transfer by taking over functions that were to remain with the county government.
He claimed that anarchy was brewing at City Hall as a result of the alleged blatant abuse of procedures laid out in the takeover deal that was signed at State House.
The looming battle for functions between Sonko and NMS Director General Mohamed Badi was exposed after the governor cancelled a meeting of county employees that was reportedly called by the new team to issue them with redeployment letters.
Public gatherings
Sonko accused the Public Service Commission (PSC) and NMS of calling the more than 6,000 City Hall workers to a meeting despite President Uhuru Kenyatta banning public gatherings in an effort to contain Covid-19 infections.
For More of This and Other Stories, Grab Your Copy of the Standard Newspaper.   Read Now »
“It is the height of impunity when NMS, through PSC, summons workers of the Nairobi City County Government on Monday and Tuesday next week (this week) to collect the alleged letters of redeployment,” said Sonko.
He said such a gathering posed a great risk to the employees’ health.
PSC Chairman Stephen Kirogo yesterday, however, distanced the commission from the meeting. He said PSC’s role ended when it seconded county employees to NMS.
“I am not aware of any meeting that PSC is involved in. Our role was to second the staff to their new employer,” said Mr Kirogi. “The next process was issuance of letters of redeployment by their new employer. PSC has no role in the issuance of the letters. Our role ceased at the moment we seconded them.”
Efforts to reach Mr Badi for comment were unsuccessful as he did not pick our calls or respond to text message inquiries on what informed the decision to convene a meeting. Sonko said the new team and PSC have no powers over employees of the county, saying this is a responsibility that remains with the Nairobi County Public Service Commission.
He accused Badi’s team of trying to run the county single-handedly without involving his county government.
“Clearly, there are few overzealous individuals within the national government who have been suppressed with excitement, and have chosen to break all laws and provisions of the Deed of Transfer,” Sonko said.
Illegal summons
He claimed county employees were being intimidated by individuals in the national government, especially by being illegally summoned.
“All manner of individuals from the national government have continued to summon workers and issue them with directives through telephone calls, SMSes, WhatsApp messages and other unorthodox communication channels that are outside standard government procedure,” said Sonko.
He has now directed county employees to ignore threats allegedly issued by the PSC on behalf of NMS, adding that the county will not be governed through intimidation.

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Director General of NMS Mohamed Badi.Nairobi Metropolitan ServicesNairobi Governor Mike Sonko

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Drama as chiefs face wrath from a brewer : The Standard

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There was drama at a village in Bomet County yesterday after a brewer turned against chiefs during a raid.

Twelve chiefs and members of Nyumba Kumi scampered for safety after the Kwenikab Ilet village brewer drew a bow and arrows and started shooting at them.
Ndaraweta location chief Zephania Koech, who led the raid, said the brewer had evaded arrest for a long time.
“We got wind that he had pitched tent at the village and was selling illicit brews to youth. I mobilised colleague from neighbouring locations and we carried out raid, but he was very hostile,” said Mr Koech.
SEE ALSO: Shock as pupils arrive at school drunkHe said the brewer assaulted one of the Nyumba Kumi members during the raid.
Village elder Joseph Langat was attacked with a machete by the brewer.
The chiefs had to take refuge at a tea plantation as they waited for reinforcement from administration police officers.
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After the police arrived, the brewer tried to escape by swimming across Kipsonoi River and hiding in a tea plantation.
It took the intervention of seven armed police officers to arrest him after a three-hour manhunt.
SEE ALSO: Chiefs hurt in chang’aa den raidKoech said they did not involve the police initially because some brewers colluded with officers who took bribes.
“Every time we take them to the police, they are released the following day,” he said.

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illicit brew

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University, county partner in mass production of protective gear : The Standard

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Laikipia County has partnered with Dedan Kimathi University of Technology to produce personal protective equipment (PPE) to prevent spread of coronavirus.
The first 1,000 body suits for medical staff who come into close contact with infected people and 7,000 face masks for distribution to boda boda operators, community health volunteers and enforcement officers, are expected to be ready by the end of this week.
“We are in a fight for survival against the Covid-19. We must do whatever we can first even as we look for help from elsewhere,” Dedan Kimathi University Vice Chancellor Ndirangu Kioni (pictured) said.
SEE ALSO: Mystery over death of Moi University student Prof Kioni said the institution and Laikipia County were seeking to fill gaps in the fight against the virus, and the network of entrepreneurs under innovation programme had come in handy.
The university has trained eight local manufacturers from Laikipia County who are working with 40 sub-contractors.
The Kenya Bureau of Standards has approved the bid by the university to manufacture the protective equipment as coronavirus gets to community transmission phase.
For More of This and Other Stories, Grab Your Copy of the Standard Newspaper.   Read Now »
Under the partnership, the institutions are also working on mass production of ventilators and hand sanitisers, through Small and Medium-sized Enterprises that are under the Laikipia Innovation and Enterprise Development programme.
The Ministry of Health last week projected that the country could have 10,000 coronavirus cases by the end of April, if people do not strictly adhere to the guidelines put in place, putting a strain on medical facilities.
SEE ALSO: State to upgrade towns in Laikipia CountyMass production of the PPEs is part of the preparations that the county government is making as the number of coronavirus cases in the country rises. Although Laikipia has not recorded any Covid-19 case, so far, a model released by its department of health indicates that it is likely to record more than 14,000 infections in a worst-case-scenario and up to 600 cases in the best-case-scenario.
There are nine production centres at the university and by SMEs in Nyahururu and Nanyuki. Four other SMEs are producing hand sanitisers.

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Laikipia CountyDedan Kimathi University of TechnologyPPE

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