Today 27th August 27, 2020 marks exactly 10 years since the promulgation of Kenya’s constitution in 2010.
As experts claim the document is among the best in the world, citizens are calling upon the government to respect the constitution and have it implemented fully so it can serve its actual purpose.
“Kenya’s constitution has not been implemented fully. The Government of Kenya led by Mr. Uhuru Kenyatta does not respect court orders. Now, illiterate hyenas, crocodiles, vultures and pigs want to change a constitution that they have never read and understood.” tweeted Dr. Lemayian Karugia.
“This Constitution needs proper implementation and following it to the tee. But we can only dream of that with a class of leadership that without a doubt has been rooted systematic in the type of leadership we need to leave behind to move forward with as a nation.” Said Mr Kiprono.
The constitution has brought with it some great successes. Devolution which created 47 counties has resulted to services being brought closer to the citizens and improved development across the country and more importantly the previously marginalized regions can now enjoy better services.
“Devolution is working although its achievements are sometimes overshadowed by other shortcomings and challenges which requires constant learning and improvement. Some areas need reform and concrete action in our constitution.” Said Mr Larry.
The constitution also established independent bodies like the Ethics and anti-corruption commission (EACC), office of the directorate of public prosecution (ODPP) and the directorate of criminal investigations (DCI) which have helped in the fight against corruption. The most recent being the case of MP John Waluke who was found guilty of NCPB maize scandal.
Even as the constitution hits ten years, Kenyans led by President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition Leader Raila Odinga feel it’s time to change the constitution. A call for referendum is being pushed through the birth of the building bridges initiative (BBI) occasioned by the infamous handshake between the President and Mr. Odinga.
“…we must not succumb to the paralysis of constitutional rigidity. We must treat a constitution as a living document that must constantly adjust to our emerging realities.” President Uhuru Kenyatta.
“Call to amend the constitution is a healthy discourse that must be encouraged. Politics should not cast doubt on the process, constitution making is a political process. Focus must be improving and enhancing inclusive governance system.” Said Geofrey Njihia.
“BBI addresses critical concerns. The argument for the proposed multiple executive is that it provides for political accommodation of Kenya’s ethnic communities. The winner-takes-it-all mentality will become history. Kenyans can build on this to shape the future” said Solomon Kuria.
Some Kenyans led by Deputy President William Ruto in the ‘TangaTanga’ faction feel it’s not yet time to amend the constitution. The deputy president who has Publicly disagreed with the president feels the constitution amendment through BBI is a plan by powerful individual within the government (the system/ deep state) planning to stop his 2022 ambitions of becoming president and create positions for a few individuals who can’t win elections.
“On a referendum I don’t know what is being amended. What are the issues? What are we trying to deal with? This push is being done by the leaders..not the people. People are concerned about lost jobs, lost livelihoods.” Said Deputy President William Rutos
“Since when does a President speak for the Constitution? He is elected by the People! Only we the people of the 47 counties that make up Kenya speak to that. The Constitution protects us from Governments that seek to usurp power for Political gain at the expense of Nationalism!” said Monica
“In 2010 they told us to vote yes for the constitution and our lives will change for the better. 10 years later I’m yet to see any meaningful change. What else do they want to change now? We don’t need a constitutional change we need a paradigm shift in our leadership philosophy.” Said Edwin Ayugu.
Late last year a proposal to amend the constitution dupped Punguza Mizigo which was led by former presidential candidate Ekuru Aukot through his thirdway alliance party was defeated after it only attained approval from three counties. The bill was rejected in 22 counties while 22 others did not discuss the bill. The constitution 2010 under Article 257(7) requires approval from 24 out of 47 counties.
All eyes are now on the BBI as Kenyans await the unveiling of its final draft from the committee even as the constitutional amendment debate continues to heat up.