Justus Wanzala, Nairobi.
Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta says the constitutional amendment process being undertaken in the country will aid in fixing some of the country’s deep-rooted challenges among them cyclic post-election violence.
He said the amendments are aimed at strengthening the current constitution, which was promulgated a decade ago.
“We need to strengthen the 2010 constitution if we are to continue our decades-long journey in seeking to advance the wellbeing of all Kenyans,” he said.
President Kenyatta spoke in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi while accompanied by the opposition leader and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga during the launch of signature collection exercise in support of proposed constitutional amendments.
The President urged Kenyans to support proposed changes to the constitution reached under the Building Bridges programme which is part of his reconciliation initiative with the country’s opposition leader Raila Odinga.
“As we embark on the signature collection exercise, we recognise that the exercise of collecting signatures is a continuation of democratic deliberation provided for in the Constitution,” he said.
He reiterated that the need to amend the constitution is evident in the never-ending threat of post-election violence and public concerns about It lacks inclusivity.
The constitution amendments propose the creation of positions of the Prime Minister and two deputies. Under the proposed arrangement, the Prime Minister will be appointed by the president and will serve as the leader of government business in the national assembly.
“The reality of life demands constant change if we are to solve our challenges and capitalize on our opportunities,” said President Uhuru warning that constitution rigidity is a recipe for war.
He further said the amendments will guarantee the active participation of women in national development by increasing their numbers in representational institutions including the senate where they will occupy 50 percent of the seats.
President Kenyatta added that his decision to seek reconciliation with the opposition has stabilised the country and provided the opportunity to identify the practical reforms that would strengthen unity, inclusivity, equity and good governance.