Tundu Lissu warns Kenyans of BBI Presidential powers

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Tanzanian Opposition Leader, Tundu Lissu, has warned Kenyans over Presidential powers in the Building Bridges Initiative.

Speaking in an interview with Citizen TV on Monday, Lissu claimed that the BBI was a ploy to concentrate power on the President rather than spread it on the other arms of government.

Bill to augment Presidential powers

“I am very skeptical about the BBI,” Lissu said, “The reason for me is that the Constitutional problem that has bedeviled Kenya since 1964 is Presidentialism. In my reading, what the BBI wants to do is augment rather than whittle away the Presidential powers.”

Lissu also said that the creation of the Prime Minister post was an appointment merely meant to have someone serve in the pleasure of the Presidency.

“The Prime Minister as envisaged in the BBI is not different from the Prime Minister in Tanzania. He has no substantial power of anything. He’s a Presidential appointee and serves at the pleasure of the President.”

No copying

Tundu Lissu said that such a move would drive the country down the path of Tanzania in leadership, stating that Kenyan didn’t need to copy Tanzania in that aspect.

“Kenyans need to do better than copy Tanzania. You are better than that,” Lissu said.

Lissu was also full of praise for the new Tanzanian President, Samia Suluhu, for her decisions regarding COVID-19.

“Generally, I think she took positive action on this particular problem (COVID-19),” Lissu said.

Book launch

Tundu Lissu is in Kenya following his book launch on Friday. The Tanzanian opposition leader launched his book ‘Parliament and Accountability in East Africa’ on June 25 at the Windsor Hotel in Nairobi. In the book, Lissu traces the evolution of Parliaments in Tanzania, Kenya, and Uganda.

Lissu was shot 16 times back in 2017 in what he insists was politically motivated. This attack forced him to exile in Belgium, and he only returned ahead of the October 2020 General Elections. However, he returned to exile soon after the release of election results  which he disputed.

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