Kenya marks 3rd year since Constitution change

August 27, 2013 6:19 am


Former President Mwai Kibaki signed the Constitution into law on August 27, 2010/XINHUA-File
Former President Mwai Kibaki signed the Constitution into law on August 27, 2010/XINHUA-File
NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 27 – Kenya on Tuesday marked the third anniversary of the promulgation of the current Constitution.

Former President Mwai Kibaki signed the Constitution into law on August 27, 2010 following decades of attempts to improve upon the supreme law left to Kenya by her colonial masters.

In an advertisement on Tuesday, the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution (CIC) sent a congratulatory message to Kenyans for having successfully conducted the first General Election under the new Constitution roughly six months ago.

“In successfully holding the first General Elections under the Constitution, notwithstanding the challenges encountered, we have successfully run the gauntlet,” CIC Chairman Charles Nyachae wrote.

But even as Kenya celebrates that success, there have already been calls from various quarters for amendments to be made to the Constitution.

Some Governors and Senators want the minimum amount allocated to counties by the national government raised from the minimum 15 percent to 40 percent through a referendum.

The March 4th Movement (M4M) led by Activist Okiya Omtata is also looking to change how Kenya elects its Head of State through the adoption of a method similar to the collegiate system of the United States of America.

The Executive, led by President Uhuru Kenyatta, is however against any changes being made to the Constitution so soon after the country emerged from a General Election.

Changes to legislation regarding devolution for example would require Kenyans to return to the ballot box in a referendum process.

University dons and a section of church leaders have joined the Executive in asking Kenyans to allow the Constitution enough time to run its course and instead focus on a development agenda.

Only a week ago, government allied Senators backed out of the push for the referendum, saying there are other ways to increase the amount of revenue allocated to the counties besides a change to the Constitution.

Kenya pioneered the adoption of a post-colonial Constitution on the African continent and has paved the way for countries such as Tanzania and Zimbabwe to do the same.

It was however not an easy task with what was popularly known as the Bomas Draft being voted down in 2005 leading to the adoption of an expert driven process.

The biggest change in the Kenyan law being the adoption of devolution which it is hoped will ensure the development of all parts of the country following decades of uneven resource allocation.

The Post Election Violence of 2007 acted as a catalyst to the adoption of the Constitution and it therefore includes provisions targeted toward the reform of key State organs such as the Judiciary and the National Police Service.

But there have also been challenges in the implementation of those reforms with the Judicial Service Commission trading corruption allegations with the Chief Registrar of the Judiciary Gladys Boss Shollei.

The National Police Service has also seen its share of tussles in the last year with the National Police Service Commission and the Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo engaged in a power struggle.

But as history has shown, the perfect Constitution is achieved over time.


Latest Articles

Most Viewed