By Kiberenge Jnr
The Punguza Muzigo initiative by one Eukur Aukot is the latest attempt by conservasists to reverse the gains so far achieved in achieving proportional representation. The initiative is driven by nothing but the desire to scuttle the BBI initiative which the status quo fears may entrench inclusivity. The idea of reducing the number of MPs from 416 to 147 is very exciting. But it is meant to defeat the concept of proportional representation as envisaged by our 2010 constitution..
For instance, Nairobi County with a population of over 4m people and Lamu county with a population of slightly over 200,000 people will each have two MPs with equal votes in the National assembly! This is a tragic reversal of the gains so far achieved in representation at the national level. It takes us back to the yester years when Embakasi constituency with a voters population of 0ver 100,000 was equal to Fafi constituency with a voters population of 5,000.! This is very retrogressive and backward.
Towards the 2013 elections, Ligale team conducted constituency boundary review and increased the number of MPs from 210 to 290 to reflect proportionality. Eukur Aukot has been bandying around industrialised countries like US and Britain in trying to justify his initiave. But truth be said, Britain and US are developed economies and people there are less or not interested in accessing an MP. He argues, and rightfully so, that reducing the number of MPs from 416 to 147 will drastically reduce the cost of running parliament from 36b per year to 5b. Very perfect. But what is his proposal to save the whooping 600b we lose per year through plunder of the national coffers? He is silent on that. For him, we would rather continue losing 600b per year through plumber but save a mere 30b of the MPs salaries! What a shallow kind of reasoning.
The proposal to reduce the term of President to a one term of seven years is a total tragedy. The purpose of having two terms of five year each is to compel the incumbent perform or fulfill his/her election pledges before seeking another term. No President will be compelled to perform if elected on one term of seven years because after all, they will not be seeking reelction again. In effect, a President of one term of seven years will use his tenure enrich himself then leave office.
The Punguza Muzigo, Ongeza Ufisadi initiative must be defeated.