Donors fault constitution delays

November 29, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 29 – Kenya\’s development partners on Monday registered their disappointment with the government for missing the deadline to establish two key constitution commissions.

Speaking at the Third Development Partnership Forum in Nairobi, World Bank Country Director Johannes Zutt urged the government to stick to the Constitution implementation schedule, saying the agenda between now and 2012 was formidable and with lasting consequences for the country.

The country was on Thursday plunged into limbo after Parliament rejected a list of nominees to the Commissions on the Implementation of the new Constitution (CIC) and the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA).

"We hope that the government will redouble its efforts to appoint these commissions, with individuals of experience and integrity, so that the implementation process can soon get back on track," he said.

US Ambassador Michael Ranneberger called for prosecutions in corrupt cases saying the matter of suspending tainted government officials was not enough.

"To demonstrate seriousness, actual prosecutions are essential and then imprisonment of those found guilty" said the US diplomat.

“We have seen before that ministers have temporarily stepped aside for alleged wrongdoing only to return in new incarnations," Mr Ranneberger added.

"We therefore urge the appointment of a new Attorney General and a new Chief Justice of the highest repute, and we urge that the Kenya Anti Corruption Commission be strengthened with additional resources," he said.

On his part, Prime Minister Raila Odinga reassured that the government was fully committed to implementing the new Constitution despite hiccups as those witnessed last week with the delay in the formation of the CIC and the CRA.

He pointed out that the successful implementation of the Constitution would be a key driver to common development objectives between the government and her development partners.

In this regard, he added, there was need for the government to reach an understanding with the development partners on how to work together so that the Constitution can be implemented within the set time frame.

Noting that a number of commissions and task forces are now in place or will be in place soon, Mr Odinga said the aim is to forge ahead with the view to producing tangible results that will provide the much needed change in the country.

He said: “Of course there will be hiccups here and there as happened last week with the delay in forming some commissions, but I want to assure you that the government is fully committed to implementing the spirit and letter of the new Constitution.”

The PM said the government was in the process of putting together the pre-requisite structures to overcome the most immediate challenge of operationalising the constitution, noting it requires extensive reforms to the structure and nature of the public sector, including institutional and administrative management reforms.


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