The Building Bridges Initiative Report (BBI) proposed the creation of the position of the Prime Minister, who will be appointed by the President and approved by the National Assembly.
Although from the face of it the position of the Prime Minister seems ceremonial, the report has assigned 7 functions of the PM if the report will be adopted.
“The Prime Minister shall have authority over the control, supervision, and execution of the day-to-day functions and affairs of the Government,” says the report.
Since the report proposes the Prime Minister to be appointed from among the elected Members of Parliament, he/she shall be the Leader of Government Business in the National Assembly. This function, in the old Constitution, was held by the Vice President.
According to BBI, the President will chair all the Cabinet meetings. However, on the President’s tasking, the Prime Minister will chair Cabinet sub-committees.
“In the exercise of his authority, the Prime Minister shall perform or cause to be performed any matter or matters which the President directs to be done,” adds the report.
The report suggests something interesting. It says the Prime Minister shall not earn a salary as the Prime Minister but will be paid for his role as a Member of Parliament. It says, “The Prime Minister will continue to earn his salary as a Member of Parliament with no additional salary for the prime ministerial role.”
The Prime Minister’s office will have a Principal Secretary who will “chair the Technical Implementation Committee of the Principal/Permanent Secretaries.”
“To avoid politicization of the Public Service, the Permanent or Principal Secretaries will not be subject to Parliamentary approval. Their accountability will be strictly administrative and technical,” says the report.
If the report is to be fully adopted, some of the functions or roles proposed are set to clash with those of the Deputy President as enshrined in the Constitution of Kenya.