Mudavadi: BBI should address interests of Kenyans

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Amani National Congress party leader Musalia Mudavadi (right) with Eliud Owalo,a member of the party, when they appeared before the Building Bridges Initiative task-force at the KICC, Nairobi yesterday. PHOTO COURTESY

Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi has cautioned against using the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) to serve the interest of a few political elites.

Mr Mudavadi, who said the BBI report should address the issues raised by all Kenyans, wants issues facing Kenyans addressed through thematic areas of Electoral Justice, Peace and Cohesion, and the Economy.

Some of the proposals by ANC include the strengthening of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to enable it carry out its mandate independently and impartially.

The party also wants IEBC to publish the full list of voters and votes cast during the window of electoral petitions. In the presidential election, this would mean within a period of 14 days.

On governance, the party has opposed to the creation of regional governments and other vertical centres of power.

It, however, supports the creation of the positions of the President and Prime Minister with clearly defined roles.

Similarly, the party is opposed to the PM being an executive office, saying it would create two centres of power.

“We should not suffer the same fate as the grand coalition government where things were not as they were said. Prime Minister could chair a Cabinet sub-committee where ministers from the other faction of the government absconded. We faced situations where there was a lack of quorum,” said Mr Mudavadi during the validation hearings of the BBI report at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre.

“These things need to be looked at. Otherwise we’ll be creating a bureaucracy that does not function,” he said.

“We also support the creation of the office of official leader of opposition with a shadow cabinet that is properly funded,” said Mr Mudavadi.

Term limits of constitutional office holders must be protected at all times like Inspector General, Director of Public Prosecution, Attorney-General, Auditor General, IEBC chairman and commissioner, Chief Justice, Ombudsman, etc. He said there should be no attempt to create new guises for these offices.

On the economy, Mr Mudavadi said there is need to manage the ever increasing public debt through the creation of a Public Debt Management Authority that will manage borrowing both at the national and county level. The authority will also update Kenyans, periodically, on the status of the country’s debts and payment plans.

The government also ought to relook the current tax regime which ANC says is punitive, not just to the ordinary Kenyan, but to businesses and investors.

On corruption, ANC wants government to ensure adequate funding of the Judiciary, ODPP and other related offices. The party supports conducting of continuous random lifestyle audits.

He said that counties should also be funded adequately. The ANC leader said that a minimum of 35 per cent of revenue collected should be sent to counties.