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We need PM and President to share power



Kenya needs a rich mix of both presidential and parliamentary democracy where the president is elected through universal suffrage – with voters going to the polls knowing they are electing a president.

We cannot allow MPs to meet and elect a Prime Minister and a President under a parliamentary democracy.

Already evidence suggests there is a likelihood that MPs can be compromised and vote in a manner contrary to the will of the people. You recall the EALA members elections where there were claims MPs were bribed with as low as Sh10,000 to influence their voting. We need to have a Prime Minister, yes, but one who sits in Parliament and is head of government business. This PM will be responsible for government business in the house.

He needs own budget allocated by the state so as he can execute the PM mandate effectively. We need a framework whereby the PM has got a Cabinet fully funded, so he can effectively also check government and should have access to government records. As we think about this we need to ask ourselves what can we borrow from French and Tanzanian democracies.

In my view, Kenya isn’t mature to go purely parliamentary nor presidential systems given our dynamics. We need to carefully study those two models (French and Tanzanian) so we can customise them to fit the Kenyan situation. We can’t go 100 per cent on either system a mix can serve well.

The greatest challenges with the presidential system we have today is that a cabinet secretary is not fully accountable for their dockets. It will be effective where the CS is a member of the National Assembly and where his colleagues both in government and opposition are able to question his or her decisions.

The current situation is that the committee bosses are the ones who do the donkey job and at times CSs have no time to go to the committees to be held accountable. But if we have CSs sitting in Parliament it makes them accessible and makes it easier to hold them accountable. If an MP puts a question on the floor of the house its the committee chair who now looks for CS to get feedback. If they were MPs it will help get responses promptly and directly.

Mokua is a political analyst he spoke to the Star

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