NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 1 – The impending Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) constitutional review is geared to buttress gains under 2010 Constitution and end ethnic violence, President Uhuru Kenyatta affirmed on Monday.
In his Madaraka Day address, the President said he is mooting for a review that will deepen the country’s democratic credentials and lead to a more inclusive society aligned with the noble intentions of the framers of the Constitution.
“I am already discerning a constitutional moment. Not a moment to replace the 2010 Constitution but one to improve on it. A moment that will right what we got wrong in 2010. But fundamentally, the constitutional moment I discern is one that will bring an end to the senseless cycles of violence we have experienced in every election since 1992,” President Kenyatta stated.
The Head of State said the review of Kenya’s political architecture was necessary for the country to achieve governance reforms .
“We cannot re-imagine our nationhood without changing our political architecture. And we cannot change this architecture without re-engineering our Constitution. If we have done great things in the area of brick and mortar, the greater things that remain to be done have to do with our governance system. And we must not be afraid of changing this system, if it does not serve our present purposes, he stated.
President Kenyatta’s speech captured the reflections of late Tom Mboya during the Lancaster House constitution-making process in the 1960s when he emphasized on the need for the independence Constitution to address aspirations of its people.
“Fifty years ago, Mboya warned Kenyans against constitutional rigidity. He told us that a constitution is not an end in itself; it is a means to a greater end. It is a living document. And if certain elements of the constitution outlive their historical purposes, they become a cancer.
They must be removed or they will infect the good elements of the mother law,” he said.
The President and ODM Leader Raila Odinga have been pushing the BBI agenda as the means to foster national unity and equality in sharing of the national resources.
A 14-member taskforce chaired by Garissa Senator Yusuf Haji which was mandated to collect views on possible changes to be made on the Constitution (2010) is expected to file second report following the collusion of validation hearings on March 13.
The BBI taskforce held consultations with a cross section of citizens, civil society, the faith-based organisations, cultural leaders, the private sector and experts.