Some recommendations in the BBI report do not add up, DP Ruto says as he sets records straight

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BY JOAN WANJIKU,NAIROBI,26TH OCT 2020-Deputy President William on Monday expressed his reservations about the BBI report in its current form, calling for a review to reflect the needs of all Kenyans.

Judiciary
The DP, speaking during the launch of the BBI report at the Bomas of Kenya, said the proposal on the establishment of the office of  Ombudsman, which  will be appointed by the Executive is a derogation of the independence of the Judiciary.

Ruto said that this might take the country back to the dark days, where the president used to issue guidelines to judges in some cases via a mere phone call.

He said that majority of Kenyans are still struggling to access justice, and that some matters are yet to be handled as per the Constitution.

“We need to operationalise the Judiciary fund that is already in the Constitution so that the Judiciary can establish more courts, hire more judges and more staff so that more Kenyans can have access to justice,” Ruto said.

Regarding the suggested establishment of the office of the Ombudsman, Ruto said that it will interfere with the judicial performance as well as its independence.

“On the matter of the Judiciary allow me to say that there is a huge space to have an improvement on the proposal that has been made… Having an ombudsman appointed by the Executive into the Judiciary is a derogation from the independence of the institution.”

Ruto gave an analogy as he referred to ODM leader Raila Odinga and his love for football.

Electoral agency

On the proposals on the IEBC, Ruto said they are not clear and BBI has not issued a solution to the winner-takes it all perception in the country when it comes to elections.

“The question I’m asking myself is, have we solved the winner takes all equation…the real elephant in this whole conversation was what was identified as winner-take-all and aspects of inclusivity”

The DP, used the football comments to illustrate the winner takes it all.

“How fair will a league be, where a referee is appointed by teams, and not all the teams but some teams?”

“…unless you tell me that it is okay for some teams to appoint the referee…and if that is what you are saying, I have my reservations.”

Police service

Ruto, also touched on the suggestions on the National Police Service and the National Police Commission.

He said that the 2010 Constitution had made it clear that the police must act independently of any politician, whether they are in government or in the opposition.

“To recommend that we will have a police council, chaired by a CS is actually a derogation from the independence of the police.”

Devolution

On the proposal to boost devolution, Ruto said that increasing resources to counties from the current 15 per cent to 35 per cent will need to be accompanied by strengthening the Senate.

He also highlighted his opinion regarding the removal of the Woman Representative position from the Parliament, saying that the same needs to be rethought.

Ruto, added that the issue of job creation as well as boosting youths in business needs to be relooked at.

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