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BY KORIR JUMA/PSCU,NAIROBI,26TH NOV 2019-The much awaited Building Bridges Initiative report has finally been presented to president Uhuru Kenyatta at State House, Nairobi.The ceremony held on Tuesday afternoon was attended by the Deputy president William Ruto and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga.
The report, set to be formally released to be public on Wednesday, was handed over to him by the BBI taskforce Chairman Senator Yusuf Haji.
According to the report ,the Prime Minister shall have supervision and execution of the day-to-day functions and affairs of the Government. The Prime Minister shall be the Leader of Government Business in the National Assembly.
Further, the Prime Minister will chair Cabinet sub-committees. In the exercise of his authority, the Prime Minister shall perform or give directive to be performed any matter or matters which the President directs to be done.
The Prime Minister will continue to earn his or her salary as a Member of Parliament with no additional salary for the prime ministerial role.
The Permanent/Principal Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister will chair the Technical Implementation Committee of Principal/Permanent Secretaries. To avoid the politicisation of the Public Service, the Permanent or Principal Secretaries will not be subject to Parliamentary approval. Their accountability will be strictly administrative and technical.
Subsequently, the report also proposes the re-naming of Cabinet Secretaries to Cabinet Ministers–some of who will be appointed from among Members of Parliament.
Leader of the Official Opposition
The runner-up of the Presidential election, the report states, becomes an ex-officio Member of Parliament and the Leader of the Official Opposition if his or her party is not represented in the Government, or of a coalition of Parliamentary parties not represented in the Government.
A mixed cabinet
The cabinet is a crucial part of the Executive arm of Government. There is discontent with the current system, judging from what Kenyans told the Taskforce. The President will appoint Cabinet Ministers after consultation with the Prime Minister. The Ministers shall be responsible for the offices that the President establishes in line with the Constitution.
The Cabinet shall be drawn from both parliamentarians and technocrats with the latter being made ex-officio Members of Parliament upon successful Parliamentary approval.
The Taskforce is also recommending that the Cabinet Secretary be renamed Cabinet Minister.
To ensure more effective political direction and Parliamentary accountability, there shall be a position of Minister of State that will be appointed from members of the National Assembly and taking direction in their ministerial duties from Cabinet Ministers. These Ministers of State will continue to earn their salary as MP with no additional salary for their ministerial role.
Need for a strong opposition
The report further proposes that the party or coalition of parties that is not in Government shall be the Official Opposition.
The Leader of the Official Opposition shall be enabled to have a Shadow Cabinet.
The Opposition will play a key role in Prime Ministerial and Ministerial Question Time sessions in Parliament.