Kenyan women reject demands for amendments

August 9, 2010 12:00 am

, LIMURU, Kenya, Aug 9 – The Maendeleo Ya Wanawake Organisation (MYWO) now says asking for immediate amendments to the Constitution that was passed by 70 percent of Kenyans is lopsided.

Chairperson Rukia Subow wondered why Kenyans went to a referendum, only for opponents of the new law to start lobbying for amendments when the majority overwhelmingly voted for the document which has yet to be promulgated.

“You cannot comment on any food before eating it. Why were we going to the referendum if those in the opposition were going to get their way? Let us first work on the Constitution and when it starts working we will know there is somewhere we have gone wrong,” she said.

She further asked Kenyans to join hands in implementing the Constitution as it would equally serve them regardless of how they voted at the referendum.

“The Yes side won and that has to be respected because they had the numbers. If you can’t beat them, join them so that we can all come up with a new Constitution and move forward,” she said.

The MYWO leader also requested those in the No camp not to hold back the implementation process of the new law. “I think the No group is still saying ‘no’ in a different language; that we have to sit down and agree on this thing. Let us all move past that stage.”

She noted that Parliamentarians would have little choice than to work together in ensuring that the contents of the new Constitution were effected, “MPs have to agree because if they don’t Parliament will be dissolved and I don’t think any MP would like to go home right now.”

Ms Subow also called on the MPs to ensure that the individuals chosen to lead the various commissions proposed by the new Constitution had a clean record.

“We don’t want self centered people. We want people who will see this Constitution working. Not people who are tribalistic or ethnically motivated. We want people who have integrity, are credible and professional,” she observed. 

Further, the MYWO commended efforts by the Interim Independent Electoral Commission saying it conducted a free and transparent process. Ms Subow also applauded Kenyans for embracing the new law saying it would bring the much sought governance reforms.

“We have many youths in this country who are unemployed. This country has so many issues that need to be addressed and spearheaded so let us put the politics behind us for a moment,” she said.

She also asked them to tolerate each other’s divergent views and continue living together in peace and harmony, “Let’s not let small issues divide this country. We all belong to this country; we will still remain neighbors in this country irrespective of ‘Yes’ or ‘No’.”

Ms Subow was speaking in Limuru during a workshop for women on the importance of preventing drug abuse and managing it at the societal level that was organised by the National Campaign Against Drug Abuse Authority.

She expressed concerns over the increased number of girls and young women who indulged in drugs and alcohol. She called on the government to tighten the country’s borders to reduce instances of drug smuggling.


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