The provisions in our constitution governing the relationship between the President and Parliament were not put thereby some evil drafters out to sabotage the will of the people. They were inserted in line with legal philosophies many centuries old that have been tested over and over again. The provisions in Kenya are meant to work in such a way that Parliament cannot pass a vote of no confidence against a popular president for he will call a general election in the confidence that the electorate will put him back in office and send the errant legislators back home. Vice versa, a president who knows that the people do not support him over Parliament is given the option to resign since the people will stand with the legislators against him. In case of doubt, it is the people who choose whom to support between the two.
This way, a balance of power is maintained between the Presidency and Parliament. The Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill 2005, now popularly known as the Keter Bill, seeks to undo that balance in a dangerous way. It seeks to create a Parliament that cannot be removed, that can pass laws which would give them power over all other organs of the State and over the people of Kenya that would be no different from those of Oliver Cromwell or Robespierre. It seeks to create a Parliament that can change the law so that it can sit in perpetuity without an executive power that can prevent such an eventuality by dissolving the House.
If this Bill became law, Parliament would have had the absolute power in Kenya and would very well vote those salaries the MP’s wanted, take control of the budget and use it as they deem fit, and when the next election is near, they would change the law to postpone it. The only organ of State that the people can appeal to in such an eventuality is the Presidency, which currently has the powers to dissolve the House and send errant members back to us for disciplining. But it is that power that is now being torn apart in the belief it will hurt the current government. As will become apparent one day, we are cutting our noses to spite our faces.