WILL WE ACCOMPLISH THE BIG TASK AHEAD OF IMPLEMENTING AND ACTUALIZATION OF THE NEW CONSTITUTION? By Mungai.

Welcome to the new KENYA with a new constitution. A wind of change and hope has permeated KENYA following the passage of the new constitution and its promulgation. The day August 27 will go down in our history books as the day we faced a new rebirth as a country. A day and an occasion when our constitution was promulgated by President Kibaki. It will be eked in our memories for a long time after transversing one of the tremounteous journeys to achieve its attainment.

Prior to that attainment previous attempts had always hit a dead end while others planted the seed of hatred, tribal animosities which backfired with negative repercussions as it showcased itself in the devious and heinous post election violence’s which we witnessed in 2007/2008, after a disputed general election. That seed was planted in 2005 during the constitution referendum to endorse the Wako draft which was overwhelmingly rejected by the Kenyans.

The endorsement of the new law and it’s promulgation were historic events considering that we have been searching for a new law for 20 years. The joy that was expressed by the Kenyans is a kin to a couple that has just got a child after two decades of anxious trials According to President Kibaki in his speech said that the dawn of a new era is upon us. Let us se2ize the moment with courage because the birth of a second republic holds great promise.

The day was greeted with pomp and dance as Kenyans went about in ushering the new constitutional order in which in its chapters they will write a new order. The climax of that day can be compared to the day we attained our independence in 1963. It is a constitution which is expected to bring a new mode of doing things which will turn a new leaf in our systems of governance if it is implemented.

Indeed it will be an opportune time for positive change. But it will also be the most challenging because it goes against the grain for many elites who have made a killing out of the status quo. This group is certainly girding their waists for battle to ensure that the “baby” doesn’t see the light of the day.

Hence the strong enthusiastic conviction which greeted it’s promulgation as it is Kenyan made we blended together locally.

According to political pundit’s arguments, the old constitution was an adoption from our colonial masters – Britain – of which it hasn’t served us quite well and it didn’t address our priorities well. According to their considered arguments some provisions in that constitution had faced criticism as it indirectly supports neo – colonialism. And, to back up the argument that is why that constitution faced many amendments and repeals in trying to address to address pertinent issues and to eliminate the draconian laws.

But, the most cited flaw in that constitution which is mostly pricked is that it created an imperial presidential institution with sweeping powers where the actions were not challenged nor competed with. The presidential institution had overlapped the other arms of the government and the appointing authority.

Previous regime holders of that office had used its sweeping powers to turn their rules into totalirian and dictatorial tendencies where they suppressed the people, crushed the political dissenters who were critical of their regimes as a means of silencing them. Basic human rights were violated; people were arrested without trials or charged with treason as political scholars went into exile. Contrary opinions challenging the presidency were not welcome and unheard off.

And, that is why the Kenyan people and the drafters of our new document targeted that institution where its powers was clipped and was devolved into the County governments. Some were to be exercised in consultation with the legislature. Parliament coupled by strong checks and balances. Indeed the drafting of our constitution was largely driven by dissatisfaction of this office and the systems of governance.

Also to be incorporated in the new constitution is our systems of governance which was demystified to encourage accountability, efficiency, corrupt free environment and sound management headed by persons of high integrity. Our systems have rather wanted thus the overhaul.

The game of musical chairs that was been played by the holders of presidential institution will be a thing of the past where government officials served at the whims and mercy of the appointing authority. To serve in these key posts were given as rewards to loyalists, tribal chiefs, political barons and the political corrects who danced to the tune and toed on the line.

But will we accomplish this bug task which lies ahead of us of implementing and actualizing the new constitution?

To make it a reality a change of altitude will be absolutely required. It is not yet time to celebrate as the big task lies ahead, the implementation and total actualization of the new constitution. A constitution by itself has no meaning, it is human kind that bestows meaning to it in the manner they implement it. Hence, the goodness of this constitution is not innate, hence the emphasis of it’s drafters on the need for the implementers to see beyond the letter of the law and be selfless enough to perceive the spirit of the law.

A constitution can be beautiful document, but it is meaningful only when it is respected and honoured by all from rulers to the ruled. And, that is why our leaders swore to obey and preserve, protect and defend the new constitution and all other Kenyan laws.

The new constitution may be full loathe with sweet enticing words, but, the biggest test remains unaccomplished – implementation and actualization part of it. If we happens to actualize it and do let the status quo to remain we could be doing one of the major undoing and we shall live to reel it.

We must mobilize the necessary required resources to fund the implantation because as a matter of fact and principle its actualization will require huge resources and especially the devolved governments. But, it is however deceptive to pin all our hopes on the document.

And now that we have a new constitution and, according to what have been said time and again thart the leaders we choose are a true reflection of ourselves. It is our prayer that this time they will reflect the positive change that the masses are yearning for, but, above all, individuals must be ready to act as the basic unit of change.


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