Kenya enlists help to implement new law

August 31, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 31- Prime Minister Raila Odinga is now calling on the international community to assist Kenya in implementing the new Constitution.

Mr Odinga who was speaking during a farewell party for United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) Executive Director Anna Tibaijuka on Tuesday affirmed that the government was fully committed to the obligations made by the new laws.

He said the international community could help Kenya develop a plan for broad-based engagement of all key stakeholders around the transition and implementation phases.

“Many different disciplines may ultimately be called upon in support of constitutional transition. Kenya can certainly do with some support in the form of substantive expertise in state restructuring,” he said.

The PM further proposed that United Nations organs together with other bilateral bodies provide advisory services to the Government and Parliament to help the country beat its deadlines.

He explained that the transition process would herald major changes for Kenyans especially with the devolved governance structures.

“Kenyans have voted for a radically transformed system of governance that they feel will address their fears. Kenya has remained a thoroughly centralised system and embracing the new constitution means ushering in new systems,” he said.

Mr Odinga added that there was need for the government to embark on civic education to sensitise Kenyans on the steps that would be taken to bring the laws into full effect.

“We need to teach citizens about the newly adopted document and the process of implementing it. There is also need for us to embark on civic education on the rule of law if the new constitution is to make a difference in our lives,” he said.

Dr Tibaijuka, who has been replaced by former Barcelona mayor Dr Joan Clos, further commended Kenyans for passing the new Constitution saying they had set an example for the rest of Africa.

“When I was on the commission for Africa I argued for constitutional legitimacy and I insisted that Africans need to discuss their constitutions. If we are going to broker enduring peace and prosperity, we must also agree on the ideological hegemony,” she said.

She added that Africans must not lose their thirst for new laws: “Constitution making is never an easy exercise so what Kenya has accomplished is great.”

Dr Tibaijuka also said that she was fully prepared to join a political career. “I was in Tanzania campaigning and I am proud to say that after winning the primaries with 71 percent of the votes, I am now the unchallenged candidate for Muleba South constituency,” she said adding that she would on Wednesday be sworn in as the area Member of Parliament.

She also thanked her colleagues and donors for the support they had accorded her while she worked for the UN-Habitat.

Dr Tibaijuka is the first African woman to be elected in the United Nations General Assembly as Under Secretary of a United Nations programme.

She served for eight years at UN-Habitat and is remembered for her efforts in promoting water and sanitation in slum areas.


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