Lawyers educate Kenyans on draft law

July 31, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 31- A civil society group is now calling for the empowerment and sustenance of all the interim Agenda 4 commissions saying they will play a vital role in ensuring Kenya enforces the new constitution if passed.

The International Ford Foundation Programme Alumni, Kenya (IFP, Kenya) on Saturday said the implementation of the contents of the proposed constitution would be determined by the general support from the entire Kenyan fraternity and the caretaker committees that would be in charge.

Chairperson Agnes Zani said that honouring the transitional clauses as proposed by the document would also facilitate the execution of its contents.

"We always talk about the government should do this or that but the government is us. Kenya is and will be what we want it to be if we go out of our way to make it what it should be. It\’s not just about the Constitution and reforms. Kenyans have to play a part. You can defeat a process if you don\’t work hard enough to pull together," she said.

She further argued that civic education would still be required after the August 4 referendum vote as it would help Kenyans understand the various mechanisms and systems required to implement the new law.

"We need to have very clear terms of reference so that there are ways of putting stop gaps. For example the new law proposes that we will be able to recall any non-performing Member of Parliament. But what is the process? How are we going to do that? What are the indicators and how will we tell this MP is not performing," she argued.

Dr Zani also commended works done by the Agenda 4 commissions so far, saying they were an indication that Kenya could transform itself and reach greater heights.

"For many developing countries creating institutions that work is the main thing. We compare ourselves with the Asian tigers who about 40 years ago were more or less where Kenya is. But over time, they have made a big difference because they put the right institutions into place," she said.

Meanwhile the Law Society of Kenya also called on both religious and state institutions to join forces and help in implementing the constitution.

Speaking during a roadshow around the city of Nairobi targeting residents in informal areas, civic education convener Lucy Kambuni said Kenyans would have to own the proposed new law for its effective implementation.

"There is going to be a lot of work even after we pass it. We are going to have over 70 pieces of legislations that are going to be enacted and we will all have to play a very active role in ensuring that the legislation that comes out of Parliament is in accordance with the constitution," she explained.

Ms Kambuni who called on Kenyans to maintain peace throughout the constitutional review process also said that the LSK had issued over 5,000 copies of the constitution to the dwellers of the populous settlements.

"We want to celebrate this document let it not be divisive for Kenyans. These are just differences of opinion and we will have to come together and sit and discuss the contents," she said.

Twenty five lawyers took part in the two-day road show to clarify issues arising from the contentious clauses. It covered Kawangware, Dagoretti, Kangemi, Kibera, Gachie, Jogoo Road, Outering, slums in South C and B, Buruburu and their environs.


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