Kenya may have 2 deputy presidents if a new Bill seeking to have an expanded executive is adopted before the 2022 General Election.
The Bill is being spearheaded by the Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee (CIOC) of the National Assembly under the leadership of Ndaragwa MP Jeremiah Kioni.
“We have finalised the Bill on the expansion of the Executive but first we must address some grey area around the creation of the 2 positions of deputy president,” Kioni said as quoted by People Daily.
The draft Bill which is being prepared by Parliament’s legal office further proposes several amendments to the Constitution to create the positions of prime minister and two deputy premiers.
The CIOC chair, a close defender of President Uhuru Kenyatta said the committee is currently meeting in Mombasa to fine-tune a Bill that is expected to be tabled before the National Assembly when it resumes from recess in two weeks’ time.
He said what is remaining is to spell out the deputy president who takes over the leadership in the event a vacancy fall in the office of the president.
“There are questions on which one of them will assume the role of the Head of State in absence of the President. We want the role of each officeholder defined properly,” Kioni added.
While Kioni wants the bill passed before the end of the year, a section of legislators has proposed that the amendments be voted for or against in a national referendum to be held on the same day as the next General Election set for August 9 next year.
The Bill also seeks to have the Attorney General perform the functions of a Cabinet Secretary as assigned by the President as well as to allow a governor to appoint MCAs as members of the county executive committee.
The bill has however reintroduced fresh wrangles between President Uhuru Kenyatta and his estranged deputy William Ruto.
Speaking in Bungoma during a whistle-stop campaign on Friday, September 17, the deputy president urged Members of Parliament to shoot down CIOC’s move to “reintroduce BBI through the backdoor”.