My thoughts today come from an argument that came up in the office, of course on the Proposed Constitution that left me thinking post-referendum.
In the next 24 hours, Attorney General Amos Wako will publish the draft officially putting us on the last stretch of the tiresome journey of Constitution making. A referendum is expected within 90 days and those three months will be more crucial than the document itself.
If you are a Yes man and I am a No camper, we are both Kenyans, and after the referendum whichever way it goes we shall remain as such.
As a Kenyan and a “Christian among the 80 percent of Kenyans“, I am in the middle. On one side my Pastor is standing his moral ground and saying No while on the other my MP is telling me that “Kenya is in her constitutional moment” and with such a good document I should say Yes.
For starters I want to state categorically that I am a Christian and a patriotic Kenyan.
If I vote Yes against the advice of my Pastor I am hoping he will understand that I did it out of my conscience and the desire to see good governance and change in this country I dearly love. Should I decide to vote No against the “wisdom” of my honourable MP, I hope he will know I yielded to my Christian morals.
Listening to the argument in the office and others on the streets and the matatu and at times participating in them, I have discovered we are passionate on our positions. There are very few fence sitters. An aunt of mine from the village, tells me she will vote No since her pastor has told her that the draft legalizes abortion and would not give me a minute to engage her on whether her priest is right.
My fellow workmate who thinks it is evil for the church to go out guns blazing on the No campaign doesn’t want to hear the “morality reasoning” behind his pastor.
You see we are not made for the law but the law for us. My worry is not whether we have a new constitution or not but the kind of a country that shall be borne out of the referendum.
I hope my workmate’s pastor will still welcome him to church in August after the results are announced and the draft has passed. On the other hand I pray my workmate will joyfully attend the Sunday service and cheerfully offer his tithe like he has always done should the referendum results be negative.
A good law is not meaningful if it leaves us more divided than we were in January 2008. The constitution was still intact when we butchered each other, and I guess a new one will not stop the violence from recurring.
We need our religious leaders as much as our political leaders after the referendum. I believe they are playing their rightful roles in taking their positions.
As pastors congregate this Saturday at Uhuru Park for the No campaign “prayers” I hope they speak reconciliatory words and genuinely pray for this country. As President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga lead the Yes campaign I pray they will speak the language of one nation.
As we debate on the draft lets talk issues and agree to disagree but remain the “optimistic patriotic Kenyans” we have always been.
“My prayers are with my beloved country.”