Presidential or Parliamentary Democracy in Kenya?
Kisumu Governor, Prof. Anyang’ Nyong’o has written a book, Presidential or Parliamentary Democracy in Kenya? The new title was launched at the University of Nairobi at an event graced by local and international leaders, students and the general public.
The Chief Guest former Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Raila Odinga gave a historic account of the governance system of several African countries immediately after independence, comparing the parliamentary system of governance and parliamentary systems of governance.
“Immediately after independence, there were several coups in the continent. Many African leaders, the founding fathers, took after the dictatorial ways of the colonial masters. This necessitated major coups in the continent from Nigeria to Uganda to Congo,” he said.
Hon. Odinga explained into details of the political struggles of the time and the eventual 1982 coup because the administration was not willing to listen or negotiate. Following the dictatorial tendencies of the KANU regime and the torture and the killing of several people, Hon. Odinga urged Kenyans to embrace peace, embrace the Building Bridges Initiative that was a culmination of the talks between him and President Uhuru Kenyatta following the 2017 elections.
Comparing the countries that have realized massive development courtesy of the Parliamentary system, Hon. Odinga gave examples of New Zealand, Germany, Japan, among others. He urged Kenyans to embrace Parliamentary System as it promises great checks and balances and checks the excess of the Executive.
The author, Prof. Nyong’o observed that the Kenyan Constitution is a good constitution. He challenged Kenyans to think critically about the kind of governance they want for themselves and urged them to embrace Parliamentary Democracy as opposed to the Presidential system. He outlined the disadvantages of Presidential system as lacking checks and balances, keen on destroying political parties, spurs growth and development of counties and the country at large. The advantages of parliamentary system were outlined as good at nurturing leaders, embraces cohesion and inclusivity of all ethnic tribes and diverse cultures.
University of Nairobi Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Isaac Mbeche, described Prof. Nyong’o as a prolific writer, a scholar and smart leader who continues to mentor many students of political science at the University of Nairobi. Prof. Mbeche was represented by Prof. Julius Ogeng’o, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic Affairs.