, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 1 – Parliament has a critical role to play in helping the country achieve a new Constitution and usher in the Second Republic by facilitating the implementation of the new law through debate and passage of the requisite legislation, Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka has said.
Mr Musyoka said the task ahead was not easy and urged the legislators to put aside their political differences and work together in ensuring the implementation of the new Constitution.
"It is easier to carry out a revolution, but harder to consolidate that revolution. This to us means that the real success of the Tenth Parliament in helping our country to achieve a new Constitution and usher in the Second Republic lies in our statutory role of facilitating implementation of the constitution through debate and passage of the requisite legislation,\’\’ said Mr Musyoka.
Speaking at Parliament Gardens on Tuesday evening during a cocktail to celebrate the promulgation of the new Constitution, Mr Musyoka said the journey towards a new Constitution was not over yet, but noted that the destination is nigh.
He said the implementation of the new law is a collective responsibility where all MPs should participate irrespective of the positions they took during the last referendum.
The ceremony was attended by among others Prime Minister Raila Odinga, Deputy Prime Ministers Uhuru Kenyatta and Musalia Mudavadi.
Others were Speaker of National Assembly Kenneth Marende, Cabinet Ministers, MPs, Members of Diplomatic Corps, Members of the Committee of Experts, religious leaders, senior government officials, private sector representatives, the media and civil society representatives.
Mr Musyoka said many Bills will shortly be tabled before the House, saying he was confident that MPs having taken oath to abide by the new Constitution will be determined, dedicated and patriotic.
The Vice President who is also the Leader of Government Business said he was optimistic that legislators will attend all sittings of Parliament and participate actively and incisively in the debates besides ensuring the passage of all the Bills.
"In short, the Tenth Parliament has a date with history. You have been bequeathed the unique and exclusive privilege of overseeing the rebirth of a new Kenya, a privilege that no other parliament ever had or might ever have,\’\’ he said.
The Vice President at the same time said there is need to draft devolution policy to ensure that Kenyans receive maximum benefits at a minimum cost.
Regarding distribution of national resources, Mr Musyoka said the Equalization Fund is an excellent opportunity for Parliament to demonstrate to the marginalized communities that it cares about them by passing an enabling legislation that will ensure that the fund reaches every corner of the country.
"In matters of social protection, just as reclaimed in the new constitution, every needy person must be served. The wazee in our society need us to write laws that will preserve the dignity they deserve,\’\’ he said.
Noting that the new law clearly embraces the principle of gender parity in the society, the VP said there is need to ensure the enactment of law that level the ground for women so that they may be involved in the building of new Republic.
He said the benefits of dual citizenship that the new law has granted should begin to flow as soon as possible, saying MPs should pass the necessary legislation.
On poverty eradication, Mr Musyoka called on ways and means of eliminating the pangs of poverty and despair from among Kenyans.
"Let us brace ourselves to eliminate the pangs of poverty and despair from among our people," said Mr Musyoka.
The PM on his part urged MPs to work together in ensuring the implementation of the new constitution, saying it is a new beginning for the country.
He said the implementation of the new law required the good will of all Kenyans irrespective of their political parties.
Mr Odinga urged the media to stop dwelling much on 2012 politics and instead help highlight matters pertaining to the implementation of the new Constitution.
Mr Marende and Mr Kenyatta who also addressed the ceremony said they were optimistic that the Tenth Parliament is committed to the implementation of the new law.