Constitution: Kenya hits the road again

December 19, 2008 12:00 am

, NAIROBI Kenya, Dec 19 – The quest for a new constitution gathered momentum on Friday after the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) on constitution review elected torch bearers at its first formal meeting.

Mandera Central Member of Parliament Mohamed Abdikadir (PNU), who is also the chairman of the departmental committee on the Administration of Justice and Legal Affairs will head the team and will be deputised by ODM‘s Ababu Namwamba.

Mr Abdikadir was elected in a closed door meeting at County Hall in what he described as ‘a harmonious election’.

“I am humbled by this election because we had very senior colleagues in the committee,” Mr Abdikadir said, adding the move was a good start because it will set a serious agenda for the country.

Speaking to journalists shortly after his election, he said the team was set to meet next Monday “to agree on a work schedule that will see the delivery of a new constitution in less than a year”.

Meanwhile, he said the committee would not be subject to any recess and expected to conduct its business within the whole period that Parliament will be on holiday.

“Most people assume that when Parliament is on recess, parliamentarians are not working but committees actually do most of their work during this time,” he said.

Mr Namwamba, who is the ODM Parliamentary Group Secretary, said the election reflected the country’s true diversity and a challenge to young leaders.

“We have started off well by combining forces within parliament and giving Kenyans leaders for this process that reflect the unity across the political divide,” Mr Namwamba said.

He added: “But we take this challenge well aware that Kenyans have been searching for a new constitution for more than two decades now, and they are watching keenly.”

Mr Namwamba assured that the committee would endeavor to discharge its mandate to ensure that the youth are well represented.

He was confident that political power play would not impede the committees mandate saying there was firm commitment from all stakeholders ‘that this time they cannot fail Kenyans’.

The election of the two youthful leaders comes as a harbinger for a new constitutional dispensation ignited by Wednesday’s passing of the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill 2008 that entrenched constitutional reforms.


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