Mudavadi urges caution in push for PM post
Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi has urged caution in the push for the creation of a powerful prime minister position.
He said although there is increasing demand for the post through the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI), there is need for clear delineation of the roles and mandates of the position and that of the president to avoid turf wars.
At the same time, Mudavadi rejected the creation of the three-tier governance system saying it will burden Kenyans who are suffering the impact of huge national debt.
“We are very categorical as ANC. We are totally against the introduction of a third-tier of government as has been suggested at some BBI popularisation public rallies,” he said.
The ANC leader, however, backed the creation of an expanded Executive structure comprising the president, deputy president and a non-executive prime minister, but with clearly defined roles.
“The structure of the Executive arm of Government must uphold and respect the principle of one person-one-vote. We are strictly opposed to any attempt to create multiple, conflicting or ambiguous centres of State authority,” said Mudavadi.
He was presenting his party’s position on the proposed constitutional changes to the BBI task force at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC), Nairobi, yesterday.
Mudavadi said the PM’s responsibilities must be clearly defined and safeguarded. Recollecting how it was difficult to run the Coalition government of 2008 to 2013, Mudavadi gave an account where the PM, Raila Odinga found it extremely challenging to chair a Cabinet meeting because some ministers were “only” answerable to President Mwai Kibaki.
“It is a common talk around the country on how good the Coalition Government was, but people don’t know how difficult it was to have important issues conclusively discussed. Well, it came out of necessity, but we reached a point where if the PM was chairing a certain Parliamentary Committee meeting, MPs from the PNU Party will deliberately miss, and it would be difficult to move forward,” he said.
He said if need be, the Prime Minister can have a deputy or two deputies.
ANC, he said, supports the creation of the Opposition leader’s office with a shadow cabinet corresponding to that of the official Cabinet.