New Kenyan law ensures equity, says Muite

August 23, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 23 – The new Constitution, which will be promulgated this Friday, has been described as one ‘that will ensure equity for all Kenyans.’

Lawyer Paul Muite said Kenyans have suffered for long enough and are now beginning to reap the benefits of the country’s self rule, 47 years after Kenya gained independence.

Mr Muite said that the Constitution Kenyans have been using since 1963 was only beneficial to a minority of Kenyans.

“The one (Constitution) for 1963 uplifted the wealth of a few individuals; this time round it must be the majority of the Kenyan people. So it is certainly very very significant,” Mr Muite said in an interview.

“And most important is the fact that we were able to do this peacefully and we will have to reverse the situation where the small minority continues to grow rich at the expense of the majority. That to me is the significance of this new Constitution,” he added.

Mr Muite told Capital News that it is time Kenyans were educated about the gains they are going to achieve from new law which, according to him, has already been promulgated.

“This [new constitution] is going to uplift the lives of a majority of the Kenyan people,” he added.

To him, the grand ceremony planned for this Friday “will just be a celebration.”

“There is nothing more other than just to celebrate because this new Constitution promulgated itself on the night of August 20th, it is now the Constitution of Kenya,’ he said.

“We already have a new Constitution in place by virtue of Article 263, to me as a lawyer I have already taken that position. But Friday is a significant day because of the celebrations,” the lawyer added.

President Mwai Kibaki is scheduled to promulgate the new Constitution at a grand ceremony to be held at the historic Uhuru Park grounds.

However, even as millions of Kenyans prepare to witness the historic event, it remained unclear if the scheduled date of the promulgation will be affected by a court case filed on Friday by two voters who are challenging results of the referendum, and the manner in which the entire exercise was conducted.

Mary Ariviza and Okotch Mondoh moved to the Interim Independent Constitutional Dispute Resolution Court on Friday seeking a recount and scrutiny of all votes cast during the referendum.

They also want an independent audit of the software that was used to transmit and tally the results, claiming they may have been interfered with.

Ms Ariviza and Mr Mondoh claim that the Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC) flouted the law governing the referendum campaigns by failing to restrain the Yes proponents from using state resources, among other complaints.

According to the law, the court must first dispose of such a case before the IIEC can gazette the final results, which would allow for the promulgation of the Constitution.

“If a petition is made under section 39 challenging the conduct or result of the referendum within the time limit for making petitions, the result of the referendum shall not be final until all such petitions are finally disposed of,” the Constitution of Kenya Review Act 2008 states.


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