ARE WE STILL ON COURSE, OR, HAVE WE DEVIATED? By Mungai.

Are we still on the course in the drafting the new constitutional dispensation, have we taken the right step, or, are we deviating step by step with every passing day due to political intrigues? This is one question we do need to ask over and over again as we might be moving in circles without comprehending that we derailed along time ago.

With the expiry of the 30days time frame which the committee of experts gave the Kenyan to read the harmonized draft and offer their considered input views on how and what they want to be included in the constitution draft. This is only the opportunity the Kenyans were given to air their views which would be incorporated in the final draft.

But, a major hiccup occurred, as to most Kenyans they didn’t got hold or access the harmonized draft copy as it didn’t get to their reach while others were ignorant of the contents of the draft.

According to the committee of experts, they said that they received overwhelming feedbacks from the Kenyans on the way forward concerning the harmonized draft. With the conclusion of that segmented part, the fact of the matter is that the committee of experts has entered a crucial stage where they will again draft the constitution with the incorporated views of the Kenyans. From there the fine tuned draft will be forwarded to the parliament for further fine tuning and considered amendments.

But, the committee of experts didn’t go unscathed for they faced accusations for they were accused of giving the Kenyans a short time frame to read and write their considered input views in a situation where the harmonized draft document was out of reach to them. They were also accused of favouring that certain group which understands the language the draft was written in, whereas it left out of periphery a sizeable group who couldn’t understand or write the language. The other group happens to have a natural handicap, thus they can’t read due to loss of their sense of sight hence they needed some special treatment and that’s where the Braille’s come in hand and become a necessity.

The biggest challenge they faced is where the critics criticized the creation of the hybrid system of governance. According to critics this surmounts to creation of two centres of power and as per their argument it is either you are in one side or the other rather than being on the fence caught in contradictions.

The deliberations of the harmonized document didn’t conclude without the drama, as it is still proved that the process will be a power struggle within the political protagonists who will be proving to be the main actors. When the draft constitution was released there was hope that finally a new constitutional dispensation would be realized. As it is in the case in Kenyan’s any undertakings, issues or move has to face the baptism of politics where different political directions and the process isn’t an exception going by the trends its taking.

What was expected to be a sober debate has evolved into power struggle between P.N.U and O.D.M, despite the coalition management team been mandated to settle the differences which failed. The coalition Government is still stuck in the mud holes and they are far apart in different worlds concerning the mode of system with an executive prime minister as the head of government and that’s why they are insisting on the adoption of the harmonized draft as it is. Their P.N.U counterparts are favouring the presidential system with strong checks and balances. Once again they are proving that they will never agree on anything.

But, are we drafting a constitution for the political parties and elites to scheme their maneuvers, or, are we drafting a constitution for the Kenyan people?

In such a delicate situation only compromise will; prevail as the earlier deliberations between these two camps have backfired .And, unless we do handle this delicate issue with a sober mind, settle it amicably, the attainment of a new constitution dispensation might be a mere pipe dream and a futile just like in 2005, if the process continues to be blown up. The contentious issues must be settled through the loosening of too much ground by the political protagonists so as to reach a compromise.


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