Deputy President William Ruto was on Monday heckled as he poked holes in the recently unveiled Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report.
In his speech at Bomas of Kenya, the DP expressed his reservations on some of the proposals fronted by the BBI taskforce led by Garissa Senator Yusuf Haji.
The DP questioned the rationale behind the proposal to create the office of the Prime Minister yet he thinks it doesn’t address the “winner takes it all” issue.
“I’ve confessed I’m a scientist but I’m a bit slow. Explain to me how having a President who will appoint the Prime Minister from the winning coalition and runners up being opposition leader will sort out the ‘winner-take-it-all’ question. Forgive me if I’m slow, ” the DP said.
In a bold speech, the DP said more can be done to the Judiciary besides the proposal to create an independent office of the Judiciary Ombudsman, whose holder shall be appointed by the President. Ruto said the proposal waters down judiciary’s 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 institution, ” said Ruto.
Ruto noted that the proposal to create a security council chaired by a Cabinet Secretary is a derogation from the independence of the police.
On the matter of appointment of electoral commissioners, the DP said it would be unfair to have political parties participate in the process.
“My brother Raila Odinga is good at football. So, let me ask: How fair a league will it be where the referee is appointed by some teams. Unless you persuade me that we will end up with a fair game. I have my reservations, ” he added.
The DP also questioned the proposal to do away with Woman Representative seat and the proposal to take them to a “degraded” Senate.
The BBI report proposes counties be compelled to elect both a female and male senator so that there are 94 senators out of the 47 counties.
“I agree the increase of county resources to 35% is progressive. But to recommend that the Senate cannot continue to have the constitutional mandate to discuss the division of revenue is actually a downgrade of the Senate, ” he said.
The second in command was heckled by a section of delegates as he attempted to defend his “Wheelbarrow” empowerment initiative.
Some could be heard chanting that the DP should respect President Uhuru Kenyatta.
The BBI task force was established following President Kenyatta’s March 9, 2018, handshake with ODM leader Raila Odinga to operationalize their reconciliation across the country following the aftermath of the disputed 2017 election.