AS THE BALL LIES IN OUR COURT WILL WE ACCOMPLISH THIS MISSION,OR, WILL IT PROVE TO BE A TALL ORDER FOR US?By Mungai

Concerning the matters that pertains to constitution making the ball now lies on our court. It is now upon us to play the ball and accomplish the mission of constitution entrenchment. The burden squarely lies on our shoulders. The dawning of a new constitution dispensation is now in the horizon, for there is a ray of light at the end of the tunnel. We will have ourselves to blame in this process turns futile, backfires due to either political supremacy battles or any other political shenanigans.

But will we accomplish this mission or will it turn out to be too difficulty a tall order and tedious process for us. Or overall will it turn out to be too difficult for us as it was for Apollo ii, when it tried to resist the pull of gravity and the force of earth as it explodesed,thus it failed to accomplish its mission. This must be avoided at all costs and any move that is meant to counter or divert attention from the constitution review must be desisted. We have reached a point where we must get a new constitution at all costs or live a life of regrets.

After parliament passed the revised draft constitution intact without any amendments as they were given by the committee of Experts, the process to the next phase where the Attorney General will publish it in 30days paving way for the referendum. It is to be noted that the honorable members had lodged amendments on the clauses they had proposed that needs the smoothening of the rough edges. But due to their political differences they failed to build consensus to facilitate any necessary amendments. Despite debating for 30days and taking some days off to attend retreats so that they can take a common stand on contentious issues, the House failed to raise the numbers, two-thirds majority to make any amendments due to political divisions.

The President and the Prime Minister were at the forefront in urging the Members of Parliament to pass the draft constitution and afterwards make any necessary amendments.

The former U.N secretary General, Koffi Anna who mediated during the Kenyan crisis added his voice when he urged leaders to support the draft constitution. A new constitution is within Kenyans grasp. The outcome is now in the hands of the people of Kenya. He particularly commended the two principals for their attendance which was a demonstration of commitment to the implementation of wide ranging reforms to cushion the country against future election upheavals.

But we have to thank the drafters of the constitutional review bill which is guiding this process, who in their wisdom made it devoid of any political shenanigans and machinations which could have complicated the review process. And to ensure that the draft document isn’t mutilated, the committee of Experts was made the custodian of Kenyan people.

With the draft constitution already been passed by Parliament, now in the state law office for tuning, the million dollar question still begs, will it entice the Kenyans to accept it or will they reject it and drain all the inputs down the furrow?

In my humble submission I think that the contentious issues which were subject to concentricity still lurks and unless new do find a common ground, a replica of the 2005 referendum looms. We should devise a way of addressing these issues because they might act as the stumbling block to the realization of the constitution. To avoid a contested referendum the politicians should keep off the process or any campaign on the draft. Civil education should be conducted to educate the Kenyans on the contents of the draft so that they can make informed choices during the referendum.

But the roadmap to the referendum is still rough, bumpy and full of pitfalls. Already the contentious issues have raised the discontented dissenting voices behind the scenes. This was clearly showed on the floor of the House by the honorable members as they differed on certain key issues.

The Christian Churches and pro-life activities have also raised their dissenting voices concerning the proposed set of laws that were passed by House, clauses 169 and 170 on Khadhis courts and Article 26, which allows doctors to end a pregnancy if the mother’s life is in danger. Thus they have threatened to mobilize their followers in rejecting this draft.

According to political analyst, Mutahi Ngunyi, while commenting on drat constitution in the Sunday Nation, wrote that he is unhappy because the draft is too playful and experimental/disagree with its experiment on a powerful and pure presidency. If we could not pass as ingle amendment, how will we do it later?


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