The harmonised draft Constitution is expected to be made public at 10am (Kenyan time) by the Committee of Experts (CoE), setting off a series of events that will see Kenya get a new set of laws.
As the document is released, we need a tempered approach from politicians and not the hawkish stands we see them take at weekend ethnic political rallies. This Constitution is NOT about you.
I share concerns about the ability of the CoE to disseminate the draft to ALL Kenyans in time for them to scrutinise it and suggest amendments within 30 days, and fail to understand why amendments to the law were not made to extend this period to at least three months.
In efforts to reach a wider population, I hope the Committee of Experts will go beyond making the draft available in newspapers (whose circulation is steadily dwindling) and make use of the Internet. That will make it easier for those who wish to download the document for distribution to interested parties (it will also save the CoE printing costs).
Once the draft is out, we know those with a potential to ruin an otherwise noble undertaking – our not so honourable MPs.
To outsmart the lawmakers, I agree with the civil society that we should have three draft laws presented at next year’s referendum. One will contain a presidential system of government; the other a parliamentary one and finally (but not important) a hybrid system like we have now.
Our politicians however need to appreciate that we are not making a new Constitution for them. They should for once take a back seat and allow the public to assimilate the draft with unadulterated minds.
We are all aware that the events leading up to the 2005 Constitution referendum sowed seeds of abhorrence that led to violence last year. To avoid this, the theory of a Yes-Yes vote is the best way for the country.
We do not need a repeat of the events of the 2005 referendum which sowed seeds of hatred.
But as we await the referendum, can someone tell us when we expect the registration of new voters?
Unless I’m mistaken, the only authentic voters that exist in Kenya are those from Bomachoge and Shinyalu constituencies. What about those of us from Ijara, Msambweni or Kasipul Kabondo for instance?
The road to enacting a new Constitution has been a long one, dating back to the Moi era. We have seen the intrigues that plagued the process and should learn from the past. But are we willing? Are our politicians willing? This is the time for Nzamba Kitonga and his team to show leadership. I wish them luck and urge you all to take time to read the draft constitution instead of waiting after it is passed to make our discontent apparent. (We have a habit of complaining after the event – let’s make this different).
Postscript: As soon as the draft is available, we will post it on the downloads section on this website.