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We have a huge wage bill. Why did you increase number of MPs?

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We have a huge wage bill. Why did you increase number of MPs? by Kenyans247(1): Mon 09, November, 2020 02:50pm
What you need to know:
We at BBI, therefore, said that we need to bake a bigger cake that will remove the scarcity that makes people unable to move away from competition for resources often expressed as historical land injustices.
Constitutions are about negotiating and balancing. Tearing up the document into single issues removes that balancing and puts minorities at risk of not having any of their interests taken care of because they will never have the numbers to carry those through as independent issues.
One of the root causes of persistent conflicts in our country is the emotive land question, including historical land injustices, which the National Land Commission has not concluded to date. How does the BBI propose to address historical land injustices wherever it may have occurred within the republic? Gregory Ngeiywa, Kitale
kenyans247
There will never be enough land and as the population grows the problem will get worse. Pressure on land will not ease and demands for redistribution will never end if the economy does not expand. We at BBI, therefore, said that we need to bake a bigger cake that will remove the scarcity that makes people unable to move away from competition for resources often expressed as historical land injustices.

To do so, we have placed a mandatory obligation on the State to make promoting the economy an essential duty of all organs through a new article in the Constitution entitled ‘Economy and shared prosperity’. We have followed this up with numerous legislative, policy and administrative measures that will create wealth and employment opportunities.


Beyond the nine points reference agenda that informed the appointment and operations of your task force, precisely where did you obtain far-reaching powers to recommend repeal of the Bill of Rights and dilute the independence of the judiciary? Samuel Waweru, Kikuyu

We have done no such thing. The Bill of Rights is intact and no one seeks to amend it. We have also not diluted the independence of the Judiciary. We have proposed that the public have an ombudsman who will ensure that the Judicial Service Commission operates in a way that is accountable to the people. At the moment everyone is complaining that the operations of the JSC, particularly regarding corruption and indiscipline, are shrouded in secrecy and lack of public accountability.

While receiving the BBI report at the Kisii State Lodge, the President fell short of asking Kenyans for prayers to enable him bring on one platform all key political leaders during the next stage of the BBI process. Sir, critics regard this as too little, too late since these political leaders appealed for their inclusion at the initial stages of the process but were ignored. Did you fail to advise the two Handshake partners on the need for inclusivity when you first received the nine-point communiqué? Are you concerned that a progressive report like the BBI may be fought purely because of politics? Komen Morris, Eldoret

At the Bomas of Kenya, the President revealed that contrary to what was alleged in some circles, he had kept all his political partners involved in the process. The former Prime Minister also said he had done the same. None of their partners have denied this or alleged anything to the contrary. I, therefore, anticipate that there will be a broad-based consensus on BBI in days to come.

After the Naivasha retreat involving some Members of Parliament from both Houses, and attended by the two Handshake partners, some leaders claim that adjustments were made on the proposed number of new constituencies in some particular counties. Sir, what is the true position on this and what informed such amendments which are viewed as discriminative by those affected? What assurance are you giving to the public to avoid speculations on the document going forward? Komen Morris, Eldoret


The BBI report has not allocated any constituencies to any county. That was speculation made in some media circles and also misleading reports meant to fuel disagreement during this consensus-building stage. We at BBI had said that we shall protect the 27 constituencies of minorities that were in danger of being scrapped by the 2010 Constitution and instead made room for counties to negotiate a balance that would also ensure proportional representation of all Kenyans. I am confident that our leaders will strike this balance.

We are living at a time when the Treasury is struggling with a huge wage bill. Why then would you propose an increase in the number of parliamentarians? Dr Irungu Maina, Murang'a

Unfortunately not everything can be reduced to money. One must look at the overall benefit. What is the cost of injustice and instability? We cannot fail to secure the country on the basis that it will require us to spend more. It is like refusing to undergo medical treatment because it will cost money.

question: Why don't we vote for each proposal instead of Yes/No for the entire document? We may end up rejecting a document with some very vital constitutional amendments. Dr Irungu Maina, Murang'a

Constitutions are about negotiating and balancing. Tearing up the document into single issues removes that balancing and puts minorities at risk of not having any of their interests taken care of because they will never have the numbers to carry those through as independent issues.

If we got to the referendum, how many questions can we expect to see on the referendum ballot? Githuku Mungai, Nairobi

It will be one Bill for which people will vote either “Yes” or “No”. This is the way we did it in 2005 and 2010.

Is the BBI document likely to be revised to accommodate what the powers that be deem reasonable requests? Githuku Mungai, Nairobi

BBI has done its work. The process now is with our leaders. We do trust that they will do what is best for the country.

Going by the deep-rooted tribalism and nepotism in the public and private sectors and the alarming level of moral decadence in Kenya, it is possible to conclude that the two pillars of Building Bridges Initiative of Inclusivity and National Ethos are far-fetched and will not achieve anything in this process. What is your thought on this? Dan Murugu, Nakuru


Without doubt tribalism and lack of national ethos are the foundations of all our problems. For the first time we are able to acknowledge that and to have an open discussion about it. We will not resolve it overnight but we have started doing something about it. Let us not surrender to scepticism because of the size of the challenge. We are all up to the task. We have to sort it out for the sake of our children.

It is in public domain that you have been an adviser to former Prime Minister Raila Odinga over a number of years. Given that the BBI is more of a political and not a legal process with the main focus being the coming General Election, some Kenyans are concerned that you were not neutral in this process. As a learned friend, why did you not recuse yourself as the Joint Secretary as a judge would do in a court case due to conflict of interests? Dan Murugu, Nakuru

BBI was not carrying out a judicial function. We were asked to advise, not pass judgment about who is right and who is wrong. Far from being a liability, the time I have served as an adviser of Prime Minister Raila Odinga has given me tremendous insights into the problems that have dogged us as a country.

It is not always possible for broad-based coalitions to win power during every election. What happens if two tribes only win the Presidential vote, majority in Parliament and in county assemblies and from BBI playbook, the Prime Minister, his two deputies, the Deputy President, the Speakers of Parliament all hail from the ruling coalition composed of just two of the 42 tribes in Kenya? How then do you solve the political inclusion problem? Njoroge Waweru, Kikuyu

The scenario you have painted is impossible. There is thus no danger of that happening. Remember though that the Prime Minister is chosen by the National Assembly. That means 50 per cent of all MPs. So too are the Speakers. And the President and his Deputy must garner at least 25 per cent in at least half of all counties.

Can you ever imagine the proponents of the BBI losing the game at the ballot? In other words, what is your take on the BBI proponents' road to winning the game? Francis Njuguna, Kibichoi


Our leaders are talking in good faith and as nationalists. Most people don’t want a political competition about this because it is for the people. Majority of the leaders are putting the people first and not the political contest. I have faith that this will hold and everyone will win.

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