Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi has disclosed that the Government is working on a Draft Executive Authority Bill aimed at establishing formal mechanisms to facilitate presidential transitions several months before elections.
Mr Mudavadi noted that the Assumption of the Office of President Act of 2012 primarily focuses on swearing in and handing over instruments of power to the incoming Head of State.
The Prime Cabinet Secretary stated that the Draft Bill has provisions that will check any disruption that may be occasioned by the transfer of the executive power that could produce results detrimental to the safety and well-being of Kenya and its people.
He explained that there was a need for the State and agencies to begin transition planning well before a presidential election, benefiting both outgoing and incoming administrations.
According to the Assumption of the Office of President Act of 2012, the sitting president forms a committee to oversee the handover of power from himself.
The Committee facilitates the handing over of the process by the outgoing President to the President-elect, Organizes for the security of the President-elect and Co-ordinates the briefings of the President-elect by the relevant public officers, among others.
In accordance with section 14 of the assumption of the office of the president act, upon signing the certificate of inauguration, the outgoing president shall hand over the following instruments of power and authority. A sword, and the constitution.
Addressing participants at the Multi-sectoral Consultative Workshop on Post-Election Electoral Reforms Agenda at Sarova Woodlands hotel Mr Mudavadi suggested that at least six months before an election the President should establish a Transition Coordinating Council, comprising of civil servants, eminent persons, top security officers and representatives of major candidates to provide guidance to agencies on transition and facilitate communications between the administration and the transition teams.
“We envision an integrated, government-wide approach to transition that will ensure briefing materials are well prepared. There is need to develop a transition directory with comprehensive information on the officers, departments, and responsibilities of each state agency,” he added.
Mr Mudavadi indicated that a successful transition between the incumbent Administration and the incoming Administration should begin with pre-election planning and continue through inauguration day.
He added that it needs to involve key personnel from the outgoing and incoming Presidents’ staffs, and helping to familiarize the incoming Administration with the operations of the executive branch, and developing a comprehensive policy platform.
“The national interest requires that such transitions in the office of President be accomplished so as to assure continuity in the faithful execution of the laws and in the conduct of the affairs of the Government in both domestic and foreign affairs,”
On bipartisan talks the Prime Cabinet Secretary called for an honest dialogue between the Kenya Kwanza government and Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition.
He said leaders should not approach the proposed bipartisan process with hidden agenda.
“We support the talks but dialogue must be geared towards issues affecting the country,” he said.
Mudavadi, who was accompanied by Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka said the best way to find solutions to issues articulated by the opposition leaders will be through a parliamentary process.
“The President’s initiative to have dialogue is because he is ready to bring harmony to this country, if we want the nation to move forward this process must be taken seriously and done genuinely,” said Mudavadi.
According to him, the government is ready to deliver promises it made to Kenyans during campaigns “and it was time to stop politicking.”
Kalonzo told the forum that campaign funding was not just political, because it ultimately mutates into a national security issue.
He said there was need for the country to stay vigilant in holding its politicians accountable by requiring them to reveal sources of their campaign kitty.
With campaign budgets sometimes being estimated to be over Ksh 20 billion, the Wiper leader indicated that the need to win an election through a cutting-edge contest can easily cause politicians to sell the country and compromise its sovereignty.
“Campaign funding sources should therefore be regulated and checked for integrity and goodwill, so as to curb monies coming from dubious sources such as drug lords, terrorist groups and even foreign organizations or nations who may want to hold the country at ransom for their selfish gain,” added Mr Kalonzo
He pointed out that Kenya is prone to terrorism, money laundering, inflation and corruption. Kalonzo explained it was therefore necessary to have tight measures in place to control the flow of finances into the country.
The Wiper leader stated that the country needs stringent laws and regulations that could help sanitize local campaigns by checking use of excessive cash by politicians and the sources thereof.