A NEW AND BETTER CONSTITUTION ORDER: A KEY PILLAR TO PROSPERITY IN KENYA: BY MUNGAI

If there’s one mind boggling thing that has bogged Kenyans for quite along time and it has eluded them; then it’s the crusade to comprehensively review the current constitution which dates back to the time we gained independence.  Each an every political term have faced it’s share of bogging with persistent calls for constitutional change.

 

The battles for constitution change have been fought hard, and daggers have been drawn against each other, many lives have been lost, and yet, it haven’t been achieved, as it takes twists, turns.

 

The proponents of the change constitution crusade had all along being arguing that the constitution we have was adopted from our colonial master, Britain.  They also argue that that it has been passed by time hence the need for comprehensive review to toe with times.

 

But, true to the point, the shenanigans that we witnessed early in the year is a clear manifestation that we need a good constitution that will address al issues that pertains and portrays the true representation of the Kenyan people.  Those shenanigans clearly indicated that there are indifferences, which are dangerous.  It means Kenyan simply don’t know or do not care that they are sitting on a ticking time bomb that could explode at any minute.

 

But, it was in the early 90s when the agitation of comprehensive constitution review hit the boiling points, as people were fighting for the introduction of multi-party democracy, popularly known as the second liberation.  The Government of the day then, was hard pressed to facilitate the necessary amendments and it bowed out of pressure hence it repealed section2 (a) of the constitution, which paved way for the multiparty democracy.

 

The multi party was embraced, and thereafter, the crusade proponents insisted that what was done was piecemeal amendments hence a need for whole review.  And again, they hit the road as agitation continued, and toward the General election of 1997, the then opposition headed by the current president, Mwai Kibaki, lamented that there will be no election, if the constitution wont be reviewed.

 

The Government again, bowed out and succumbed to the pressure that was being exacted and it acted, hence the formation of later parliamentary parties Group (I.P.P.G) with a mandate to facilitate the necessary minimal reforms.  The committee came up with a whole set of amendments which they recommended to be repealed to cater for both the Government and opposition and also to level the playing ground.

 

Then, came the Bomas convention, where all signs of constitution change was eminent.

 

The then opposition, under the umbrella of N.A.RC. had came into power under the guise of constitution review.  The political will which had lacked in the K.A.N.U regime was clearly manifesting itself in the new regime as the most proponents were in the new regime.

 

But, to our outmost surprise the matters of constitution were beyond what we thought as they were like hot steam.  The Bomas convention had became a place to settle political scores as N.A.R.C had already disintegrated over the failure to honour M.O.U.

 

The Bomas convention came up with a document which was referred to as the Bomas draft.  The draft contained some contentious issues, which were not resolved amicably due to disagreement and suspicion.  These contentious issues became a major stumbling blocks and a matter of connectivity among the two rival groups.  The draft faced a major amendment before it was put on the referendum for people to vote.  The document was rejected completely.

 

But, until when shall we complete writing these new constitutions? And why is it that, the matters of constitution are used as campaign tools?

 

To give Kenya a new facelift, we must reform it by writing a good constitution, which will address the things that divide us, which will be resolved, and the solutions entrenched in a new constitution order.  We cannot talk about having attained peace, whereas we are in a tinder- box where a tiny spark can lead to fresh bloodletting.

 

It’s high time the Government moves fast to reassure the public that its indeed moving toward giving them just and opportunity for all through a new economic and social order that will be entrenched in a new constitution.  A new good constitution will resolve our indifferences.


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