Kikuyus, Kalenjins to be barred from presidency for 30 years in proposed Bill
Members from the Kikuyu and Kalenjin communities may not be able to contest the presidency for up to 30 years if a new Bill is passed by parliament.
A draft bill put forward by ODM MP Zuleikha Juma aims at making the presidency a rotational position.
The nominated MP has proposed extensive changes to the constitution that could potentially lock out communities that have already served in the top office for up to 30 years.
“The principle objective of this Bill is to amend Articles 137 and 142 of the [constitution] to provide rotational presidency to allow ethnic communities equal accessibility of top leadership and for regional balance,” the Bill read in part.
But for the changes to take effect, the country must be subjected to a referendum. It is unlikely such a Bill will pass through Jubilee dominated parliament.
The Bill appears to be specifically aimed at the presidency, as other major elective posts including the Deputy President, Governor and MP seats, are not affected.
“A Kikuyu can be deputy president for all those years. It doesn’t matter,” Juma told a press conference on Thursday.
Therefore, an ethnic community, like the Kikuyu that is currently in power, can only seek the Presidency after 30 years.
“You cannot serve for more than one term. Once your five-year term ends, you pave way for another community to occupy State House,” the ODM MP said.
According to Juma, the country has been grappling with ethnicity and political marginalisation, which has continued to worsen after every general election.
The Bill will also affect county governments, and so it must go through the Senate.
Should Parliament nod to the Bill, it will have far-reaching implications on the current political composition in the country.
Kenya’s four presidents, Jomo Kenyatta, Daniel arap Moi, Mwai Kibaki and Uhuru Kenyatta, have come from the two tribes