THE ACCOMPLISHMENT OF A NEW CONSTITUTION DISPENSATION; IT IS NOW OR NEVER.WE MUST CRACK THE NUT OR LIVE TO REEL IT.By Mungai.

If an opinion poll can be conducted concerning the matter of constitution making among the Kenyan whether they want the accomplishment of the constitution, they may answer that it is now or never. We have reached a point where we have to crack the nut as a country or live to reel it and in the process we might break it or mould it. The times are ripe moments and the chance is in the offing’s to replenish the country, give it a new lease of life with new constitution dispersion.

But analyzing the on going deliberations process and putting it into perspective its undertaking might turn out to be a tall order, if the shenanigans accompanying the process is anything to go by. With the constitution making process in the twilight, delicate later stages we do have a case to worry about. If the leaders who are supposed to lead us in the process if their acts are anything to go by, then we must hold them in awe. Our politicians don’t seem to agree on the contentious issues and thus they can’t build consensus on these issues.

The bone of contention, that’s the subject of concentricity in the draft constitution and which the talks has not reached any agreement on are major political issues such as the powers of the senate,devolution,whether to retain counties or settle for regional governments and the amount of money that should be sent to the grassroots government.

Their inability to agree seems to grow with each an every passing day where shifting of the goal posts happens to be the order of the day. Each an every political camp has its own version of what it wants to be entrenched and amended but all this boils down to political architect.

But until when did the matters pertaining to constitution making became the tools of the political elites to influence in their own versions to serve their own interests which will favor them?

According to experts that not withstanding a new constitution will still be written. The law does not allow members of Parliament to reject the draft as a whole. According to Justice Minister Mutula Kilonzo, the (differences) are very unfortunate, totally unwarranted and uncalled for. The differences between P.N.U and O.D.M are more polemic than realistic.

The members of Parliament ought to know the constitution is for the country and future generations. Theirs is a power and privileged position and parliamentarians must recognize that it comes with heavy responsibility as any misstep would not only mean going back 20years that is how long Kenyans have held their breath for this document but also detail the crucial reform agenda.

What is going right now in the coalition govornvement is what I can term as a spirit of confusion. It is our wish that our parliamentarians are not going to disappoint us any longer as far as the constitution review process is concerned. And ultimately it is the national interest that must come before narrow consideration. Blinded by narrow interests and myopic intentions, it is easy for M.Ps to forget that they carry the weight of a country’s quest for new constitution. Indeed Kenya’s fate lies on their shoulders.

Nonetheless our concern is that politicians public pronouncements are often are variance with partisan interests reached at in private. And even when political leaders give assurances on their resolve to reach consensus, they sometimes appear to change more frequently than the weather. Some may say this is the nature of politics all over the world but such brinkmanship cannot be for the good of any country. The political class thinks it is their right to dictate to the populace what they think we should and should not do.

The constitution making already in later stages which is the last gasp attempt to break tha deadlock and to mould it, it will largely depend and to the outermost how our political leaders do conduct themselves. It will be a bit catastrophic if we do miss it. This time round. It is upon the principals to show leadership by whipping their charges and removing all barriers in the way of the draft law. They must eschew narrow agendas. Consideration and ensure that they do not let the country down at the eleventh hour, the last hurdle.

And, putting into consideration the repercussions and vivid memories of 2007/8 tribal violence’s which wary of which sends cold shivers down the spine of most Kenyans, we do presume that they will be touched and they put their heads together.

Right now the revised draft document is in a stage where it is facing deliberations in Parliament after it was tabled by the Parliament Select Committee. The Members of Parliament are supposed to debate on the draft document, make considered input, or, any necessary entrenchment or amendment which requires a two thirds majority for anything to pass. After they deliberate on it, it will then be forwarded to the attorney General for the publication of the bill to pave way for a referendum. Whether they will make any amendment or not the fact of the matter is it’s a divided house.

But, until when shall we fathom so as to come up with one unifying, agreeable and a non contested document? And, will the political class ever broke and close to their ranks and agree on the way forward?

Going by what transpired at the recent M.P.s retreat in Kabete, which was meant to reconcile the conflicting demands of P.N.U and O.D.M in a bid to take a common stand, then we might be on a rude shock because the political class seems to differ on the way forward. Increasingly, the parliamentarians are deliberating with their agenda more focused in securing political advantage at the next general election in 2012 than matters of the law. They seem to pull in different directions with each camp insisting on its proposal.

Whatever happens, the infrastructure is such that the process goes forward. Our leaders should engage in dialogue so that the final document benefits all Kenyans not just a few.


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