You have 27 days to read the draft

Have you read the harmonised draft constitution that was unveiled on Tuesday?


If your answer is in the affirmative, then give yourself a pat on the back. Before you were done did you noticed any clauses in the draft that you detest? If so, have you forwarded your submissions to the Committee of Experts?

If you fall in the two categories (the have read/not read), you have 27 days if your submissions are to be considered before the launch of the final draft. And if you are waiting for your ‘political thinker’ to read the draft and interpret it for you, then you better start queuing outside their offices because 27 days are not eternal.

But then, why should you let anyone interpret the draft on your behalf while the current Constitution and the draft say it’s your responsibility as a citizen to acquire basic understanding of the document?

I’m aware that close to 16 percent of Kenyan adults are illiterate. This however does not qualify them to be brainwashed by the political elite and those with vested interest.

They should get a relative, friend, grandchildren to read the document with them, so that they can internalise the content and make their own interpretation to guide them make informed position on the crucial document.

Why am I saying this? Politicians have already started taking hard-line positions on the draft based on where they come from. Those from the Mount Kenya region who have the numbers but less representation in Parliament are rooting for an executive President mainly because he will be directly elected by the people.

Those from other regions (mainly Nyanza) and who have a vast area with more constituencies want an executive Prime Minister.

This is an issue that can be resolved amicably and which Kenyans should not be sucked into as it has the potential to derail the review process.

The Interim Independent Boundaries Review Commission should also move fast and complete its work to end debate on the one-man-one-vote vis a vis one-kilometre-one-vote. 

The underlying issue here is representation in Parliament since the draft requires the party with a majority of MPs in the House to appoint the PM. This is what the politicians are not telling Kenyans.

Kenyans have a duty to actively participate in the review process in order to ensure that politicians do not take them for a ride (again). They should also ensure that they de-link the current players in the political realm as the document is meant for posterity.

Kenyans should not even let the Kibaki-Raila factor come into the picture because their term at the helm is coming to an end soon. This Constitution is meant to last for generations. When thinking about the draft, think of what future you want to bequeath your grandchildren.

Have a read of the draft that we have made available on our website and post your submissions which we undertake to hand over to the CoE.

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