By George Biruri- Political Analyst, Kenya

The three organs of State in Kenya namely the Executive, Legislature, and Judiciary, are supposed to have separate powers to check each other. However, the Parliamentary system we have had in Kenya- have been used by the Executives to pass some draconian laws and approve skewed appointments, budgets, and projects. They are also used to block unfavorable reports to influential people in Government.

The first independence Parliament demolished the Lancaster Constitution and undermined the Regional governments through amendments. They concentrated a lot of power in the person of the President and at the center. They also frustrated opposition parties. They adopted policies such as ” African Socialism and its Application in Kenya, ” focusing on the development on agricultural areas and marginalized arid and semi-arid regions. They amended the Constitution to allow Jomo Kenyatta to pardon Paul Ngei. Nyanza was deliberately marginalized after Jomo Kenyatta fell out with Jaramogi Oginga Odinga. The J.M. Kariuki assassination report was frustrated in Parliament. There were few courageous pro-people legislators that stood up against the excesses of the executive. They included Jaramogi, Bildad Kaggia, J.M. Kariuki, and Martin Shikuku, among others.

President Daniel Arap Moi followed in the footsteps of Jomo Kenyatta. He used Parliament to remove Constitutional provisions that allowed multipartyism and made KANU the only constitutional recognized party! Parliament was also used to remove the security of the tenure of Judges and the Attorney General. He also used Parliament to change the electoral law and give himself the power to appoint the Electoral Commissioners. He imposed the Que voting (mulolongo) system. He used Parliament to frustrate the Goldenberg report. During this time, the pro-people MPs included the ”  bearded sisters” ( Koigi Wamwere, Mashegu wa Mwachofi, Chibule wa Tsuma, Lawrence Sufuna, Abuya Abuya, George Anyona) and  those in opposition parties Ford Asili, Ford Kenya, Kenya Social Congress among others.

President Mwai Kibaki used Parliament to block the adoption and implementation of the Anglo leasing report, Ndung’u Report, WAKI report,  Truth Justice and Reconciliation report, and the Maize scandal report.

The Uhuru Kenyatta regime used Parliament to pass to block maize scandal report sugar scandal report.

All the above Parliaments blocked the implementation of the Auditor General Reports.

The Ruto government has already used Parliament to approve the removal of IEBC commissioners. The supersonic speed with which the process is being pushed can only be compared to the one used to impose KANU, as the only legal Party.

The route Uda seems keen to take will reverse the democratic gains and entrench dictatorship. To get back to the path of democracy will cost a lot and take a long time! 

The MPs should use the powers given under Article 94 (4) to protect the Constitution and promote Democratic governance. The people should also be vigilant and use powers under Art 1 and 3 to do the same. Otherwise, the people will suffer from the excesses.

George Biruri is an enthusiastic political analyst from Kenya

He also contributes articles for the Diaspora Times

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