This is to correct the inadvertent misrepresentation of the M4M campaign in certain media reports. It is totally untrue to state that the M4M is fronting for an amendment to the 2010 Constitution of Kenya so as to replace the current Presidential System of government with a Parliamentary one.
In summary, the M4M case, which is detailed out in the attached dossier, is as follows:
1. The M4M is for a Presidential system, where the people elect their President directly under the separation of powers framework in the Constitution.
2. The M4M maintains that the people must be given the choice of electing their president directly, but that the votes be tallied at the county level, not at the national level.
3. The M4M does not support the election of the President by a vote in Parliament (the Parliamentary System) as that would affect the principle of separation of powers, and compromise the independence of the President from the Legislature. Further, the election by Parliament would require that MPs do what is practically impossible â€“ accurately assessing the desires of the people of their counties and voting accordingly. The election of the President by MPs would reflect the opinions and political agenda of individual Members of Parliament other than the actual will of the people. Moreover, using MPs or delegates would be open to electoral manipulation, especially through bribery.
4. The M4M is proposing an amendment to Article 138 of the Constitution to create an all-inclusive Presidential electoral system, which values all tribes and regions of Kenya and, therefore, has no room for the provocative political narrative of the â€œTyranny of Numbers,â€ which marginalises 37 out of the 42 tribes of Kenya, simply because their numbers are relatively smaller than those of the big five.
5. In fact, the concept of tyranny of numbers is essentially hate speech directed at minority groups. The notion violates the Constitution of Kenya, 2010, by creating conditions where members of 37 small Kenyan tribes are practically excluded from ever being elected to the presidency, merely on the basis of their tribal identity.
6. The M4M is raising one million signatures as required under Article 257 of the Constitution (the popular initiative) to amend Article 138 to provide for the election of the President and the Deputy President directly by popular vote on a county-by-county basis as opposed to the current system where they are elected directly in a popular vote nationally.
7. The M4M is opposed to the current process of electing the president which has been reduced to an acrimonious census of tribal numbers, which is prone to electoral fraud, and which marginalises sparsely populated regions and smaller ethnic groups in what is provocatively called the â€œtyranny of numbers.â€
Okiya Omtatah Okoiti
Steering Committee Member
DATE: August 15, 2013