By Jectone Oyoo and Albert Musasia –
Nairobi Forward, a WhatsApp group that was created to encourage discourse on topical issues affecting Kenya and a group that brings together leaders from across the political-divide will hold an e-debate at Ufungamano Hall on 03/05/2019. The group has been a hot bed of thought provoking discourse on virtually every topical issue arising in Kenya with an inclination toward matters governance and the suitability of our current governance structure.
The debate will center around the renewed quest by some to attempt a Constitutional review, it is in collaboration with the County Governance Watch—a lobby group that advocates for good governance at the devolved units to achieve the desired outcomes to the populace. We at the Kenyan Report welcome this positive move and urge Kenyans to participate rigorously in bringing to the forefront issues that matter to them to be a national priority in the national discourse. We believe the debate will bring together policy entrepreneurs with the ability to shape public opinion on important issues.
Among the panelists inthe debate will be Hon. Mutula Kalonzo Jr. Senator for makueni County,Hon.Moses Kuria, Member of Parliament for Gatundu South, Dr.Ekuru Aukot,party leader, Thirdway Alliance of Kenya,Dr. Muthoni Ouko,Education Rights Advocate,Grace Maingi,Executive Director,Uraia Trust and Mr. Ken Osido, Executive Director,County governance Watch.
We submit that in the debate, prominence should be given to issues of; representation, the two thirds gender rule, entrenching ways of sharing the national cake like government jobs to take into account the face of Kenya as opposed to the current state of affairs, the need to limit two thirds gender rule to appointive positions and not elective positions—this would have the effect of encouraging a healthy and fair political contests that is the cornerstone of democracy.
We argue that, there is need for a review of the 2010 Kenya Constitution through a referendum to give the people the power to take control of the issues affecting them directly. We recognize that our Parliament and Senate are an easy target to manipulation by the executive. Their voting records on important matters is testament to the foregoing reason, the media bill whose major provisions were rendered unconstitutional is a good example.
There is also a need to reduce the number of representatives as away of easing the burden on the Kenyan tax payer—on those Kenya should benchmark with countries like India with a population of over one billion and only 400 representatives and United States with a population of over 350 million and only 535 representatives. The irony is that these countries are more affluent and progressive in terms of their electoral politics.
We take this earliest opportunity to wish success to the debate moderator Agness Ibara and congratulate the convener Fwamba NC Fwamba. We look forward to an engaging lively debate.
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