BY JOSEPH LISTER NYARINGO
Let us not dream that we shall wake up one day to sing one chorus or dance in the same rhythm. That is why it\’s futile to seek for absolute truth in the proposed Constitution before the referendum day.
No leadership system or political ideology is perfect in the World. Not even the evolution of Democracy; the most preferred system of government.
Theocracy, the system Moses and his brother Joshua used to lead the Israelites from Egypt never lacked weaknesses despite giving the world the 10 commandments. Reaching the Promised Land, Israel\’s leadership from King Saul to the present Benjamin Netanyahu has been riddled with turmoil after turmoil for many generations.
It has been said several times how hard it is to attain a perfect constitution. Personally like most Kenyans, I\’m for Yes not because the Constitution is perfect but because it will help us run our country well than the current one.
A law that faces resistance is not necessarily a bad law. That is why many of the harsh criticism being fronted by sections of the Kenyan society about the proposed law do not pass the merit test. Court petitions, suggestions to entrench an addendum to the contentious clauses before the referendum are clear moves to scuttle the constitution and prevent Kenyans from getting a new Constitution.
Where were these people now coming with ideas at the eleventh hour as if they are from another planet? They had ample time to petition, propose or suggest ideas when they failed to provide inputs at the formative stages of the proposed law?
When a first time MP voted on a transformative platform is fighting to use Parliament to stop the referendum, many of us are left in a state of quandary about our nation\’s young legislators and their reform credentials.
Those who are against or are on the grey area on the proposed Constitution should take a cue from the recent passage of the health care legislation in the US which never got any backing from the rightwing Republicans, whom like many Kenyans in the No camp wanted to score political points when in fact the was a benefit for millions of Americans without healthcare.
They should be reminded that even if the law is rejected in the referendum, it will be elusive to achieve what is acceptable by all Kenyans at any given period. Besides, we\’re fatigued with the quest for a new Constitution. We don\’t want to start from ground zero on the taxpayers\’ expense.
The IIEC has already hinted that they have run short of funds for the referendum and therefore, it will be a financial tragedy to subject Kenyans to another circus of coining another Constitution if the proposed one is rejected during the referendum.
It\’s too late to use unorthodox maneuvers through courts or punch holes on the contents of the Constitution. We need to focus for decision day on August 4, 2010.
However, those who feel there is time to try and engage the Church for a possible deal can do so. Church leaders supporting the proposed law like Dr Timothy Njoya and retired Bishop David Gitari should be prevailed upon and requested to reach out to their fellow Church leaders.
It\’s never too late to unify the Country by bringing the clergy on board to support the proposed Constitution. This is a viable mechanism than what many on the No camp are pursuing.
(Joseph Lister Nyaringo lives in New Jersey, USA)