Moi raps politicians over review

June 28, 2009 12:00 am

, NAKURU, Kenya, Jun 28 – Former President Daniel Arap Moi has expressed concern over conflicting and hard-line positions being taken by political parties in the constitution review debate.

Mr Moi said on Saturday that public outbursts and various preferences from the political divide may lead to another impasse of the review process as has been experienced previously.
The former Head of State said the major contention in the current constitution making process will be the choice of the system of government while the other issues formerly regarded as contentious such as devolution of power appear to have been pushed to the periphery, a reflection of the current political interests.

He says the ongoing bickering and emotional exchanges between the rival partners in the coalition betray well-calculated designs by both to exploit the process and ensure that it yields governance structures that best serve their political ends.

Speaking at the Nakuru’s Nyayo Garden while presiding over a peace meeting, Mr Moi called on the government and the committee of expert looking into the new constitution to speed up the process so as to avoid a second impasse.

He observed that some politicians were out to derail the process saying they should instead leave it to the committee of experts.

“Some people used to shout out demanding that the constitution be reviewed to allow the formation of multiparty rule under the guise of fighting for democracy. These political parties however divided Kenyans along tribal line and we have already seen the consequences on what happened after the last general elections. It was total bloodshed,” he said.

He accused politicians of being dishonest saying they could not be trusted with the new constitution as they were the same leaders who were involved in the Bomas Draft and were now unwilling to tackle contentious issues for selfish reasons.

While addressing a mammoth crowed that turned out for the meeting, Mr Moi at the same time recommended that key offices such as that of the Prime Minister be amended so as to allow the P.M be elected right from the grassroots saying that living the matter to Parliament would jeopardise its operations.

He said Parliament cannot be trusted with such powers since it was already divided along political set up.

Addressing the crowd, Co-operative and Development Assistant minister Linah Jebii Kilimo said that the only solution to the many problems facing the country was for the government to give Kenyans a new constitution.

"The country must change to the new constitution or perish. Selfish political leaders must change now and give the country a new constitution," he said.

"Only sober minds and dialogue between various stakeholders and experts will give a new constitution. It’s time to reason together, PNU and ODM should sit down with Non- Governmental Organisations, religious leaders and other stakeholders if they are genuine leaders," he said.

She urged the young people to shun leaders who incite them to cause mayhem and instead should engage themselves on activities that would help them grow positively.

Others who attended the fete were Saboti MP Eugine Wamalwa, as well as former legislators Mark Too, David Manyara and Paul Muite.

Mr Muite said the system of governance in the country remains a major contentious issue is the process of creating a new constitution.

He however urged politicians to give the committee a chance to deliver on its mandate without placing so many roadblocks on its way.


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