, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 23- President Mwai Kibaki has challenged Parliament to rise to the occasion and pass a new Constitution during the current session.
Speaking during the opening of the fourth session of the Tenth Parliament, President Kibaki said there must be no failure in obtaining a new Constitution after two decades of unsuccessful attempts.
“This Tenth Parliament has a historic opportunity to rise to the occasion by passing a new Constitution for the Republic of Kenya. We must be successful in this endeavour at this defining moment in our nation’s history,” the Head of State said.
He said that the Parliamentary Select Committee on the Constitution had done the country proud following their consensus on the draft after close to two weeks of deliberations in Naivasha.
The Head of State also welcomed progress made by the Committee of Experts on the Constitution.
“I, therefore, urge Honourable Members to uphold the spirit shown by the PSC in Naivasha. It is upon this House to maintain a national consensus on the new Constitution, and thus ensure that the people of Kenya will stand united during the referendum to be held later this year,” he said.
The consensus draft Constitution is expected to be presented before the House in the next few days.
Speaker of National Assembly Kenneth Marende told parliament that Kenyans yearned for reforms because they want peace.
“We must approach this with full soberness and there is no reason to call each other names because we will be accused of sowing seeds of discord,” Mr Marende said.
He asked parliamentarians to stop politicking too much on the issue of the new Constitution and instead focus on delivering what Kenyans are looking forward to.
“We must all stop shadowboxing at all manner of for a, including pre-wedding parties,” he said.