KENYA:Bungoma Senator Moses Wetangula has defended his decision to criticize and support controversial Constitutional Amendment Bill 2020 at the same time.
Wetangula took to Twitter on Saturday to inform his critics that his decision to pointed out the document’s several shortcomings and not its opposer is for the best interest of the country.
”It does appear to me that many don’t understand the difference between a critic on a bill and opposing a bill. Pointing out shortcomings in a bill like I did on the BBI bill is a legislator’s duty. I will vote YES for the bill. It’s my and FK party position!” he said on a tweet.
On Wednesday,the Bungoma Senator was among those who vehemently criticized the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, 2020 saying there was a need for radical amendments that would realign certain provisions of the Bill.
Speaking during the debate on the Bill in the senate chambers on Tuesday, Wetangula said the provisions are a clawback and should be changed by parliament to realign them to the Constitution.
“That is why I don’t agree with proponents that we cannot amend this Bill. If you read Article 257 to the latter, nothing ousts the authority of Parliament to amend any bill, including a bill such as this,” he said.
The senator took issue with the second schedule of the Bill that creates 70 constituencies, creation of the Judiciary Ombudsam, scrapping of 47 woman rep positions in the National Assembly and creation of the Youth Commission.
“I don’t understand why we are creating a Youth Commission. We have so many laws that govern our youth. Kenyans must learn to understand that youth is neither a disadvantage nor a disability. It is a transit state in human life,” he said.
The vocal lawmaker, a lawyer by profession, questioned the constitutionality, rationale and criteria for the creation and allocation of 70 constituencies to some 47 counties.
“I went through all the submissions from the 47 counties, I have not found anywhere, request by any Kenyan for 70 additional constituencies,” he said.
“But even in creating the 70 constituencies, we go ahead to violate other provisions of the constitution. Delimitation of boundaries of constituencies and wards is an exclusive constitutional preserve of IEBC.”
“What the proponents have done, they have sat somewhere without any justification decide that Kenyan deserves 70 constituencies and allocated them without any rationale. This is not right,” he added.
The former minister said that the proposed amendments are a clawback on women empowerment, adding that the bill is proposing to ‘dump’ 47 senators in the senate without resources.
His statement on Twitter has so far elicit mixed reactions. Here are some of the reactions.
How do you criticize then vote Yes? It's akin to you saying you don't like a woman because of certain things then go ahead and marry her! Conmaship!
— James Muthee (@EngJMuthee) May 8, 2021
Why would you endorse a document whose some of the clauses you oppose? Especially without pushing for the amendment of the said clauses? The right thing to do is amend the bill before passing it.
— Author Sakwah Ongoma (@CSakwah) May 8, 2021
The fact that a bill needs amendments should not always lead to opposing it. However, this particular bill required too much essential work. Passing may lead to bad precedence. I guess we need a national discussion like the ones preceding the 2010 Constitution.
— Kĩmani Ndũng’ũ (@kimaniden) May 8, 2021
As Senator @Cleophasmalala joked last week on the Floor, You Critic but always vote in support.
— Ouma Ouma (@OumaOuma15) May 8, 2021
Try vote NO and see how long it will take before KRA and EACC come knocking at your door.
— Simon N (@syghmo) May 8, 2021
How will it ease kenyans burden? Make me understand
It will just increase taxation to fund and for your own benefit.
— Corn kibe (@omurgian) May 8, 2021
A very wierd position. You spot some poison in your food and you still go ahead and eat because the cook is "very good"…..
— Laban Kitele Jr (@labankitele_jr) May 8, 2021
You must not explain yourself Senator. We all know you will vote YES, it's also good you said it's you and your party not the hoi polloi that you "represent"
A time cometh though
— NyakwarAbudho (@JOluash) May 8, 2021