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Raila picks fight with Raila over creation of national security advisor post

Raila says the creation of a national security advisor post to be domiciled in the Public Service is illegal.

Azimio leader Raila Odinga terms Ruto administration’s proposal to amend the law to create the position of the National Security Advisor as unconstitutional.

In its letter, the Azimio coalition says the establishment of the National Security Advisor, which will be domiciled in the Public Service as proposed in the bill, is illegal, stating that the proposal will alter the country’s security architecture.

The opposition listed the nation’s national security agencies and said that the administration was trying to establish a new office outside the bounds of the constitution by proposing to establish the post of National Security Advisor.

It added: “Article 240 of the Constitution creates the National Security Council and provides for its membership. The Constitution says that the Secretary to the National Security Council shall be appointed by the members of the Council.”

“Parliament has no power unless through a Constitutional amendment to alter this mandate. Parliament cannot appoint any person or any office to this position. That onus is entrusted to the Council by the Constitution.”

The opposition says the net effect of the bill will allow the President powers of the council.

Further, Azimio la Umoja says “The duties of this new office are not provided and it is not stated what their role is in the organization and administration of national security,” adding that the Constitution has already provided how national security is to be organized and administered and Kenya Kwanza seems to think that this was not sufficient.

“The occupant of this office is just a personal aide to the President with no statutory defined roles, no reporting structure and no alignment to the bureaucracy. They will in effect be acting as the prefects of all national security heads,” the opposition’s statement adds.

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Moreover, the coalition party states Parliament as proposed in the bill, has no power unless through a constitutional amendment to alter this mandate and cannot approve any person or any office to this position.

Raila said the Constitution has a full chapter on national security and provides national security organs.

He said only the Kenya Defence Forces, the National Intelligence Service, and the National Police Service are recognized as security organs.

Besides that, Raila said, the constitution provides that the ministries of internal security and defence are also recognized in the constitution, but not the office of the national security advisor.

This comes after the government published the National Government Administration Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2023 which wants to entrench the position in law through miscellaneous amendments.

Currently, Monica Juma is occupying the office which was created by President William Ruto.

One of the Acts the bill seeks to amend is the National Security Council Act with section 7 of the amendment bill seeking to empower the president to appoint the national security advisor after parliamentary approval.

The Bill further seeks to establish a committee of the National Security Council to be chaired by the Head of Public Service and also a national security advisor who shall be its secretary.

The Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces, the director general of the National Intelligence Service, and the Inspector General of the National Police Service would be members.

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