Kenyan MPs in status battle with governors

Supreme Court judges file into parliament in April 2013 MPs recently stopped governors from flying the national flag on their cars

Related Stories

Kenyan MPs are debating a proposal to make it a criminal offence to address an official incorrectly at a state function.

Those failing to use the correct honorific would face a $23,000 (£14,000) fine or a one-year jail term.

The BBC's Frenny Jowi says the bill stems from a status struggle between MPs and newly created governors.

The bill puts governors below MPs in the order of rank and stipulates they may only be addressed as "governor".

MPs would have to be referred to as "honourable" and the president as "your excellency".

The Order of Precedence Bill, tabled before parliament for the first time on Thursday, was aimed at "providing a yardstick for determining the proper position of all officers, their seniority and hierarchy for the purpose of state functions", Kenya's Daily Nation newspaper reports.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta inspects a guard of honour as he arrives at parliament in Nairobi - March 2014 The president would come first in the 12 orders of rank listed in the bill

The legislation would also stop officials from giving themselves titles.

The positions of governors were created in the new constitution adopted in 2010 as part of efforts to decentralise power - the first ones being elected last year.

Our correspondent in the capital Nairobi says the bill is the latest move by Kenya's 349 MPs to keep the 47 governors in their place.

They recently stopped governors from flying the national flag on their cars, which ministers are allowed to do, she adds.

Under the proposed legislation there would be 12 orders of rank, with the president at the top and ambassadors and high commissioners at the bottom.

MPs would be ranked sixth, followed by governors.

The bill has been proposed by Adan Keynan, an MP in the ruling coalition.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Africa stories


Features & Analysis

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • ReadingBest books

    BBC Culture takes a look at ten books you should read in February


  • A car being driven by Cruise Automation technologyClick Watch

    The tech which could allow any car with an automatic gearbox to become self-driving

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.