Consenus key for Kenya constitution process

June 6, 2009 12:00 am

, BUNGOMA, Kenya, Jun 6 – President Mwai Kibaki has stressed the need for building consensus on all contentious issues in the constitution making process to enable Kenyans get much awaited new constitution in the shortest time possible.
President Kibaki pointed out that Kenyans have been longing for a new constitutional order for the past 22 years but their dream has not been realised due to partisan interests.
The Head of State said it was time all stakeholders and Kenyans at large made a decision to conclude the exercise as a priority so as to concentrate on other issues of national importance.
The President who was speaking during the funeral of Esther Nekesa, mother to the former Vice-President, the late Michael Wamalwa Kijana at Chwelle village, Bungoma, assured Kenyans that his government was committed to the conclusion of the constitutional review process without further delay.
The Head of State expressed determination by the coalition government to give Kenyans a constitution that guaranteed equal rights to all citizens, foster peace and cement a solid foundation of a prosperous nation.
President Kibaki appealed to all Kenyans to provide the necessary support to the committee of experts mandated by parliament to address the contentious issues in the existing constitution drafts.
"Kenyans are tired of waiting for a new constitution and it is time politicians and other interested parties set aside partisan interests and conclude the exercise for the sake of peace and stability in the country," President Kibaki said.
The Head of State at the same time urged leaders to learn to fulfil all pledges they had made to Kenyans as a tribute to the late Nekesa.
On the Migingo Island dispute, President Kibaki reiterated his earlier call to leaders to tone down their provocative statements over the issue and give room to the boundary survey committee established jointly by the two countries to complete its work.
President Kibaki said together with President Museveni they had agreed that the issue be resolved in a peaceful manner in the spirit of East African Community and urged war mongers to give diplomacy a chance.
"Kenya and Uganda have remained good neighbours and enjoyed cordial relations which should not be disrupted by the Migingo dispute," the President said.     
Prime Minister Raila Odinga appealed to leaders to avoid politics at funerals and exercise the freedom of expression responsibly.
Mr Odinga said there were continuous consultations between partners in the grand coalition government contrary to perception that some MP’s were creating.
Cabinet Ministers led by Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi appealed to leaders in the country to respect the two principals in the coalition government and support them in their efforts to implement agenda four of the national accord.
The funeral service for the late Wekesa was conducted by Jotham Poi Poi of the Elgon Religious Society of Friends Church.
The late Mama Nekesa passed away aged 85 and is survived by seven children, 75 grand children and 54 great grand children.


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