Kenyans urged to continue law debate

December 18, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 18 – A civil society group advocating for the enactment of a new constitution on Friday called for continued public debate in the review process, even after the lapse of 30 days set aside for submitting views to the Committee of Experts.

Katiba Sasa Campaign convenor Morris Odhiambo also said that the constitution making process should be de-linked from political power games.

“We have actually taken great exception to what has been portrayed in the last four to five days that if you do not have elite consensus through ODM and PNU then you better forget about the constitution and yet one of our cardinal principles is that the voices of all Kenyans must be heard in constitution making.  I think it’s a huge fallacy,” Mr Odhiambo said.

Mr Odhiambo further called on Kenyans to guard against attempts by Parliament to amend the law governing the process, to allow them to alter the views in the harmonised draft to suit them.

According to the group, citizen must remain vigilant and ensure that the new institution like the ones required in the running and management of regional governments are not frustrated.

He cited the disagreement in the government over the regional government proposal as some of the reason why their operationalisation might be blocked.

Meanwhile, Former chairman of the Constitution of Kenya Review Commission Yash Pal Ghai has cited the implementation of the draft constitution as the biggest challenge Kenyans will face if it is enacted.

He casts doubts over whether there was political will to oversee the implementation of key institutions proposed in the draft and urged Kenyans to remain engaged in the process.

“I’m not sure that the constitution will make significant difference in our lives unless we take responsibility for the implementation,” Prof Ghai said.

Prof Ghai also rooted for intensified civic education on the issue.

At the same time, Kavetsa Adagala who was in the team that conducted the review in 2005, said the team of experts on the new draft law should be open to divergent views particularly on Land, Bills of Rights, Affirmative Action and Culture.


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