Senators allege plot to scrap presidential term limits
A group of senators have expressed fears that President Uhuru Kenyatta is using the National Assembly to lay the ground for the removal of term limits to enable him to rule “forever”.
The lawmakers, who included Dr Boni Khalwale (Kakamega, UDF) and Mutula Kilonzo Jr (Makueni, Wiper), said Kenyans must be wary of piecemeal amendments to the law intended to achieve “selfish interests”.
The proposed Kenya Defence Forces (Amendment) Bill 2015, which has been tabled in the National Assembly, is a government ploy to pass draconian laws to create a powerful Presidency and sanction human rights violations, they claimed.
Dr Khalwale said the Executive recently tested Parliament’s willingness to enact laws that suit the President when the controversial security laws were acrimoniously passed and hurriedly signed.
“The President would easily join the league of leaders in the continent who have extended constitutional limits in office by taking advantage of their support in Parliament to push for their vested interests,” he said.
It is wrong for the government to amend the KDF Act to relegate the military into performing roles that are the constitutional mandate of the police, he said.
“Enlisting the military into police operations is scary because Kenya is not a military state. As the Opposition, we shall oppose this Bill by going to wananchi for mass action as opposed to the courts.”
The senators, during telephone interviews with the Daily Nation yesterday, said the provisions in the Bill that allow the creation of a reserve force comprising the Kenya Forestry Service, the National Youth Service and the Kenya Wildlife Service were giving credence to the Opposition’s concerns that the NYS is being converted into a military wing.
Mr Kilonzo Jr said he suspected a sinister motive in the proposal to remove the requirement that KDF advertises all chances allocated to each county during recruitment in favour of “designated recruitment centres”.