Amani National Congress (ANC) party leader Musalia Mudavadi yesterday appeared before the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) taskforce to present his views.
He supported the re-introduction of Prime Minister post but with a well-defined role.
“The responsibilities of a Prime Minister must be clearly defined and safeguarded. If need be, the Prime Minister can have a deputy or two deputies,” he said.
Mudavadi highlighted that the roles of a PM need to be defined to prevent conflicts, as witnessed during the grand coalition government referred to as ‘Nusu Mkate.’
When serving as the Deputy Prime Minister from 2007 to 2013, the ANC leader revealed the supremacy battle that transpired in the Odinga-led office between the ODM and PNU ministers.
He further stated that the PNU ministers then would intentionally skip meetings led by Raila Odinga leading to a lack of quorum and most critical issues could not be addressed.
“We reached a point where the Prime Minister was supposed to chair a Cabinet committee. Ministers from the PNU side would sometimes feign commitments elsewhere. If the minister responsible was not there clearly, you could not discuss other issues.”
Mudavadi further stated that the woes spread over to the offices of the Deputy PMs where ministers from the ODM side could skip meetings chaired by then Deputy PM Uhuru Kenyatta in reprisal.
He added that in the absence of Prime Minister Raila Odinga, the PNU ministers would skip meetings he chaired while ODM ministers would disappear when Uhuru chaired the meeting.
ANC leader ascribed the challenges to a lack of clearly defined roles, thus recommended that the BBI report should clearly outline the functions and limitations of the top office.
Other than the PM position, Mudavadi also said his part was supporting the formation of the office of opposition leader with a shadow cabinet that matches the official cabinet.
About the head of the executive, he proposed that the President should be elected by all Kenyans and not a parliamentary system.
“The structure of the executive arm of government must uphold and respect the principle of one person, one vote,” Mudavadi said.
He also opposed the formation of contradictory centers of power, adding that the President’s role should not conflict with other positions, and the authority must not be shared or open to multiple interpretations.