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Senator says time not ripe for referendum

16 August 2013, 16:29 Samuel Kisika

Nairobi -  Hon. Kipchumba Murkomen, the Senator Elgeyo Marakwet County, has said that CORD's call for a referendum to amend the Presidential election Act would uphold the New Constitution.

Speaking in a public forum on devolution at the University of Nairobi, Murkomen said that approximately 30 years should be given to the current Presidential election system, and then if it doesn't work in consideration of marginalised groups, be amended.

"In my own opinion, CORD's call for a referendum will never be called an amendment to the constitution but instead a proposal to write another constitution because the current structure has many clauses supporting the presidential system which would uphold it," said Murkomen.

Kipchumba Murkomen

"The magnitude CORD is proposing for an amendment to the constitution requires more time between 20 to 30 years but for now they can work on their own way of coming up with their own referendum whereby the Jubilee allies would not follow their track," added Murkomen.

Murkomen added that the Senate's recent call for a referendum is aimed at having a framework for devolution to work especially by mitigating emerging disputes between the Senate and Parliament concerning some legislative functions between the two Houses.

He further pointed out that the constitution does not guarantee the Senate powers to independently carry out some crucial legislation other than those pertaining to counties without forwarding to the Parliament, and that in case their push for the referendum succeeds, the county government's operations would be most affected because they are yet to be fully established.

"If we go for a referendum, county governments would suffer most compared to the National government which is well established in its operations hence we need more time agreeable by all stakeholders not to affect the counties," said Murkomen.

He further said that devolution has been majorly hampered by politicking on serious legislative issues especially by the Parliament's competition for superiority against their counterpart Senate House.

Murkomen further said that tribalism can only be attained when those seeking elective positions stop mobilising their own people for support even in the cosmopolitan regions.

"Kenya's politics is highly dominated by tribalism for those seeking elective seats by seeking massive support from their own people as a blog against their opponents in the name of tyranny of numbers," said Murkomen.

He said that such tribal politics undermines marginalised groups who also have the potential to significantly contribute to integral leadership of the nation.  

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