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Kenya hits Constitution road

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 4 – A committee of experts appointed to come up with a new Constitution held its first formal meeting on Wednesday and resolved to speed up the process.

The nine-member team chaired by Senior Counsel Nzamba Kitonga met at a Nairobi hotel and immediately begun scrutinising previous draft constitutions.

The team is expected to sift through the Bomas, Kilifi and Wako drafts to come-up with a final document that will be presented to Parliament for approval before Kenyans are asked to vote whether to adopt it at a referendum.

“We were working on our program and hopefully we will get a draft Constitution before one year but after that there is a further process,” Mr Kitonga said after their meeting.

The committee includes three foreign experts, six local professionals and a director Dr Ekuru Aukot who is an ex-officio member together with the Attorney General.

The local experts are Atsango Chesoni, Njoki Ndung’u, Otiende Amolo, Abdirashid Hussein and Bobby Mkangi.

The three foreigners who were proposed by the Panel of Eminent African Personalities, led by Chief Mediator Kofi Annan are Prof Murray (South Africa), Dr Chaloka Beyani (Zambia) and Frederick Ssempembwa (Uganda).

The team which was sworn in on Monday by Chief Justice Evan Gicheru was yet to identify an office.

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Mr Kitonga said they would start from the point where the process stalled in 2005 and help Kenyans get an all inclusive constitution.

He pointed out that it was important for all Kenyans to participate in the process to ensure their concerns are addressed.

“We are re-commencing a journey which stopped in a disastrous manner during the referendum in 2005. It is our intention to guide Kenyans to reach a consensus that will grant them a new constitution,” said Mr Kitonga.


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