Vote of no confidence against PM premised on wrong political judgement

A fortnight ago, honorable Joshua Kuttuny reminded all and sundry that Rift Valley legislators have numerical strength in the tenth Parliament and could therefore “do something.”

It now emerges that “the something” he was referring to was a vote of no confidence against the Prime Minister. This is the standard practice in many democracies around the globe. Parliament uses this arsenal with a view to checking on executive misconduct, or its effect, especially if the official`s unbecoming behavior subverts the structure of government or undermines the integrity of the office or the Constitution itself.

So if there is sufficient proof that a government official is behaving in a manner grossly incompatible with the proper function and purpose of the office or that he employs the power of his office for an improper purpose or for personal gain, then a vote of no confidence comes in handy.

In Kenya such a threshold is seemingly non-existent. It may well be that a section of the political divide may invoke this power simply because they do not like one`s nose. This lacuna may seriously undermine the integrity of the office of the PM.

For instance, a look at section 4b of the National Accord and Reconciliation Act, 2008, states that “the office of the Prime Minister shall become vacant if the National Assembly passes a resolution which is supported by a majority of all the members of the National Assembly, excluding the ex-officio members, and of which not less than seven days notice has been given, declaring that the National Assembly has no confidence in the Prime Minister.”

From the foregoing it is apparent that the grounds for the vote of no confidence are conspicuously missing hence leaving this crude weapon to become a matter of political judgment. I bet this is akin to a demented old sucker monkey holding a loaded gun.

But how honest are the politicians behind this vote of no confidence? You see, the Prime Minister is simply supervising the implementation of that which the cabinet and parliament agreed to.

I thought that it would have been the failure on his part to implement the government`s decision that would have engendered a vote of no confidence against him and not the other way round. Moving a vote of no confidence against the PM based on a reality constructed on pure lies will most certainly prove counter-productive.

Those bent on exploiting this provision must know that since the Mau eviction exercise has the blessings of the entire Parliament and Cabinet, then the vote of no confidence must be against the Parliament and the Cabinet. In other words, they must move a motion that seeks the entire Government to resign, or seek a parliamentary dissolution and request a general election. Which Member of Parliament is ready to shoot himself in the foot now? Yep, you guessed it right. Not one among them will dare do that.

Our legislators must re-examine their conscience. They must know that reason why the eviction process is going against the United Nation`s conventions on human rights, is because of sabotage by the line ministries and not as a result of the gross incompetence of the PM. We are aware of the fact that the PM does not have the powers to dismiss the ministers responsible and the president has not shown any indication that he is about to do that. The vote of no confidence must be moved against the saboteurs of Government`s noble plan.

Tome Francis
Bumula Constituency

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