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Politics

Will Failed Presidential Contestant Ekuru Aukot’s Recent Campaign Succeed?

Thirdway Alliance party leader Ekuru Aukot has launched an online campaign dubbed “Punguza Mizigo” seeking to reduce the number of legislators from the current 416 to 194.

The National Assembly has 349 members – which comprises of MPs and Woman Representatives, while the Senate has 67 members.

According to Aukot, the move will reduce the cost of running Parliament from Sh36.8 billion to Sh5 billion per annum.

He has also proposed that each of the 47 counties be used as a single constituency unit for purposes of Parliamentary elections to the Senate and National Assembly.

Aukot, on his twitter handle, on Wednesday said he has also started a public petition seeking to exempt various petroleum products from VAT.

He also wants Parliament to amend the Finance Act, 2018, to delete the compulsory housing levy.

The levy was introduced by President Uhuru Kenyatta with an aim to supplement his Big Four Agenda which seeks to deliver 500,000 housing units in the next five years.

Another proposal is for the government to exempt telephone and internet data services from excise duty.

“Demanding that Parliament amends the Finance Act 2018 to exempt money transfer services fees from excise duty,” part of the online petition reads.

Uhuru slapped telephone and internet data consumers with an increment of excise duty from 10 per cent to 15 per cent.

The former Presidential candidate has urged Kenyans to sign the petition he terms as a great initiative in large numbers to demonstrate that the two newly introduced taxes are unnecessary.

“We shall publish publicly the names of elected officials who will support this public initiative,” he said.

More proposals

1. End historical gender inequality and ensure that Kenyans elect one man and one woman from each of the 47 counties into National Assembly and Senate.

2. Elevate Senate to be an Upper House with veto powers.

3. Increase counties revenue share to 35 per cent from the current 15 per cent.

4. Use the ward as a unit of development replacing CDF programmes hence taking development closer to people and spurring economic growth.

The campaign has been met with a lot of support on social media.

Twitter user Daniel Kivuva said: “The only referendum we can hold is for the #PunguzaMizigo. We need to reduce the over-representation we are having not creating selfish positions for a few Kenyans.” 

“We don’t need Senate, we don’t need 349 MPs, all we need is a few able governors who can help us revive our grassroots economy,” Bevalyne Kwamboka said.

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