Bungoma Senator Moses Wetangula during the debate in the Senate on Tuesday 4th May tore into the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, 2020 and called for amendments to ‘realign’ several provisions in the Bill.
Speaking on the follow, Senator Moses Wetangula maintained that Parliament had powers to amend the Bill, as that falls under the authority of the House.
“That is why I don’t agree with proponents that we cannot amend this Bill. If you read Article 257 to the latter, nothing ousts the authority of Parliament to amend any bill, including a bill such as this,” he said.
The senator took issue with the second schedule of the Bill that creates 70 constituencies, creation of the Judiciary Ombudsman, scrapping of 47 woman rep positions in the National Assembly and creation of the Youth Commission.
“I don’t understand why we are creating a Youth Commission. We have so many laws that govern our youth. Kenyans must learn to understand that youth is neither a disadvantage nor a disability. It is a transit state in human life,” he said.
The Bungoma Senator further questioned the constitutionality, rationale and criteria for the creation and allocation of 70 constituencies to some 47 counties.
“I went through all the submissions from the 47 counties, I have not found anywhere, request by any Kenyan for 70 additional constituencies,” he said.
“But even in creating the 70 constituencies, we go ahead to violate other provisions of the constitution. Delimitation of boundaries of constituencies and wards is an exclusive constitutional preserve of IEBC.”
“What the proponents have done, they have sat somewhere without any justification decide that Kenyan deserves 70 constituencies and allocated them without any rationale. This is not right,” he added.
The former Leader of the Minority in the Senate said that the proposed amendments are a clawback on women empowerment, adding that the bill is proposing to ‘dump’ 47 senators in the senate without resources.
“This amendment is a clawback on the empowerment of women. I want to encourage our women not to be hijacked by populism and be guided by facts so that we can be able to help disadvantaged women of this county,” he said.
Despite allocating more resources, Wetangula said the Bill is not strengthening institutions of governance to ensure prudent use of taxpayers’ money by those in authority.
“We must strengthen institutions of governance. This country is not poor. This country is very rich. But the wealth of this country must be managed properly,” he said.