Tanzanian opposition leader Tundu Lissu cautions Kenyans over presidential powers in BBI
Tanzanian opposition leader Tundu Lissu has expressed concern over the presidential powers envisaged in Kenya’s Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) driven Constitutional amendment process that is spearheaded by President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga.
Lissu, speaking exclusively to Citizen TV in Nairobi on Monday, claimed that the BBI only seeks to cement the powers of the president instead of reducing or spreading them towards other arms of government.
The Chadema Vice Chairman also said the creation of the office of Prime Minister as envisaged in the BBI is a dangerous move as he/she will be almost powerless, only serving at the mercy of the Head of State.
This, he said, would drive the country down the same path as Tanzania in terms of leadership, something he added that Kenyans should strive to do better than.
“I’m very sceptical about BBI, and the reason for me is that the key Constitutional problem that I see in Kenya, and that has bedeviled Kenya since 1964 is presidentialism…the presidency. In my reading, what BBI does is to augment rather than whittle away the presidential powers,” said Lissu.
“The most noticeable aspect of BBI is the idea of creation of the Prime Minister; the Prime Minister who is envisaged in the BBI is absolutely no different from the Tanzanian Prime Minister, he has no substantial power of anything, he’s a presidential appointee like any other district commissioner, he serves in the pleasure of the president.”
He further added: “Kenyans should do better than copy Tanzania, you’re better than that”