NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 27- It has been a decade since Kenya promulgated a new Constitution.
And on the eve of the anniversary, President Uhuru Kenyatta hailed the gains made so far under the new constitutional order, but declared that change is around the corner.
“But the crafters of this social contract also told us that the new constitution was a ‘work in progress’. And as such, we were made to adopt it with the promise that in the future, we will make it better,” the president said in an address to the nation on the status of COVID-19.
Plans to change the Constitution have lately gathered steem, fuelled by the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI), a project of the president and his hand-shake partner Raila Odinga in what has been blamed on the fall-out of Deputy President William Ruto who nolonger attends key government functions like Wednesday’s address by his boss at State House.
Ruto and his close allies see the BBI and plans to change the Constitution as a plot to lock him out of the presidential contest in 2022 when President Kenyatta completes his second and final term in office.
But he has vowed, “I am with the people,” in his characteristic religious quotes, “they will come with the system but they will not defeat God and the people.”
Unperturbed, President Kenyatta is clear in his mind and thus declared Wednesday that the country should not suffer from the rigidity of the current Constitution.
Odinga, the High Representative for Infrastructure at the African Union, is also determined to rally his troops to support the change, whose budget he hinted last week to be “about Sh2 billion.”
Opinion on the streets is divided on the gains of the new Constitution promulgated under Mwai Kibaki’s rule in 2010.
Majority of those interviewed by Capital FM News said they are happy with Devolution, but still believes much more should be done in implementation.
“The constitution is as good as the people tasked with implementing it. It’s that simple…it is the politicians that should change and not the constitution,” Meshak Ogutu, a city resident said.
Another said, “The only constitutional amendment that we want is one that puts food on our tables, guards the citizens against rogue police, guards the citizens against the imperial presidency, promotes inclusion, ensures that we have the right president.”
According to a recent survey released by Amnesty International-Kenya, 60 percent of Kenyans want the current constitution implemented instead of amending it.
“I think we should be discussing how to eliminate corruption,” said John Mwangi, a taxi driver in Nairobi.