Thursday, February 20, 2014

SCRAP THE SENATE , IT IS SUPERFLUOUS . xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx If today somebody proposed to amend the new constitution it will generate intense heat and suspicion . It took us over twenty years of infighting to get a new constitution , by which time each of the belligerents had an agenda they wanted accommodated . Consequently , what we ended up with was a compromise document that appeased individuals , groups , minorities and the civil society . The euphoria that abounded during the referrundum made many people happy except for the spirited attempts by oppositionists to have the document rejected. Even in their objections , the oppositionists appeared subjective and tended to stir emotions by singling out obscure legislation on the emotive land issue , same sex marriages and abortion . The ensuing acrimonious debate and propagation of falsehoods suggested that nobody had read the document comprehensively and exhaustively . Leaders selectively read sections that could advance their causes and preached their version of the gospel to an obliging public . Only now are the grey areas emerging and the document might not stand the test of scrutiny . The application of the two thirds rule in public appointments proved to be a vexer. The principal of separation of powers between the three arms of government has led to public altercations . The standoff between them is threatening devolution . The relevancy of the senate is now in question . An intended motion by hon Jeremiah Kioni to scrap the senate sometimes back was meritorious . We need not hide behind inhibitive catchy phrases like " upholding the constitution " , "oversighting " and "accountability " to avoid effecting some minor changes . Through clauses 95 , 255 to 257, the same constitution many want upheld is amenable to amendments which serve to make it better. We all know error is to human and we cannot omit to correct an anomaly just because the constitution is`new'. Failure or refusal to amend the previous one landed us into many problems . However , we cannot ignore the stipulation in the constitution that enjoins county governments , the National assembly , senate and the citizenry in any amendments . If within the confines of the law the threshold for amendment is met , so be it . Meeting this threshold first required that we have the senate and county governments in place . Nevertheless , the political structure outlined in the new constitution actually renders the senate superfluous . It simply duplicates work and burdens the taxpayer unnecessarily . With a central government to oversee things , county governments to harness and manage local resources and a representative parliament in place , why do we need an appendage that is the senate ? A senate is not necessary if its work is to represent the divergent interests of individual counties and more often than not , fight Governors . Having a national parliament and a Senate assembly is simply splitting hairs and as things stand now , MPs dont have enough work to do . Isnt it possible to set up two houses within parliament without resorting to elected senators ? Depending on experience and seniority we can still have an upper and lower house of parliament . We can borrow a leaf from the judiciary where , from among the judges , there are those selected to exercise superior authority over others as in the high court , court of appeal and the supreme court . From their own pronouncements , Senators are on ego trips . They have personalised pertinent issues as to rob them of substance and what they are propagating is war for supremacy . It irks them to hear Governors called excellency , fly national flags on their cars , have motorcades and control county finances as they , Senators , move around unnoticed . Parliaments ganging up with the Senate to challenge the judiciary is a recipe for chaos .

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