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Homa Bay leaders oppose extension of presidential term limit

Leaders in Homa Bay have opposed proposals by Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei to extend presidential term limit from five to seven years.

The leaders said extension of the presidential term limit violates the privileges offered by the 2010 constitution.

They argued that the matter will be rejected by Kenyans and they are ready to campaign against it should it be introduced in a referendum.

Senator Cherargei submitted a memorandum to the National Dialogue Committee seeking to have the presidential term increased to seven years, from five.

It has since been criticised by many Kenyans.

Some are in favor of the proposals while others have rejected it.

Homa Bay County Assembly Speaker Julius Gaya said extending the presidential term limit will affect other leadership positions including election of MPs, MCAs and governors.

He said other leaders may also wish to stay in office for two more years.

He described the proposal as a form of disrespect to the group that made the current constitution.

“We cannot amend the constitution just to suit the interests of a few individuals. A lot of sacrifices were made to make the constitution and we cannot just introduce outrageous clauses to impress a few people,” he said.

According to the speaker, the extension of presidential term limit must be decided by the people through a referendum.

According to Mr Gaya, most Kenyans will oppose the proposals.

“No Kenyan will support the matter,” he said.

The speaker also accused Senator Cherargei of trying to confuse the team leading bipartisan talks saying the legislator is trying to divert the attention of Kenyans from discussing issues affecting the country.

He said Kenya is faced with several challenges including high cost of living that the government should address.

Kasgunga MCA Nurah Odongo and his West Karachuonyo counterpart Samuel Lieta also opened plans to extend presidential term limit.

Mr Odongo argued that Kenya should emulate other countries including the US where despite attaining their independence decades ago, no proposal has been issued to extend presidential term limit.

Mr Liet said Mr Cherargei’s opinion is likely to set a precedent that heads of states who will be elected in the future will set their own term limits.

“Five years with an opportunity for reelection is enough for one to start and finish development projects. The constitution serves us well and there is no reason to amend it now,” he said.

Suba North UDA coordinator Bruce Ogweno however has a different thought.

He thinks extending the presidential term limit to seven years should be for governors as well.

He argued that serving for seven years gives leaders ample time to implement development projects.

“The president and governors are the custodians of development resources. They should be given enough time to serve,” Mr Ogweno said.

South Nyanza UDA coordinator Kennedy Ondiek said he sticks to what his party said and distanced itself from comments by Senator Cherargei.

Meanwhile, Kanyidoto Boda boda association chairman Lawrence Omoro said extension of presidential term limit will hurt the economic wellbeing of Kenyans.

He argued that most Kenyans are already suffering from high cost of living within the first year of president Ruto’s government.

“Having the president for seven years will make life harder. He has already failed to achieve what he promised during election,” Mr Omoro said.

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