Thursday, August 30, 2012

2nd Year Anniversary since the Promulgation of the New Constitution-What has changed?

Kenya celebrated the second anniversary since the promulgation of the new constitution without much fanfare. On this day [August 27] two years ago Kenya had ushered in the new constitution with celebration and fanfare at Uhuru Park. There was a lot of hope as we set in a new constitution two years ago. However, we seem to have gone back to our old ways. One would have expected this being an important day we would have gone back to see the success that we have achieved so far. However, the air is now filled with talk of 2013 March polls and with it comes fear of a repeat of what happened in 2007/08. So the president through the Ministry of Justice & Constitutional Affairs requested for peace forums to be conducted in all counties and on August 27, 2012 was the culmination of this forums. The agenda for this day was peace. This peace conference that was attended by all branches of government. 
Wisdom of COE
The drafters of this constitution, the Committee of Experts CoE had foreseen a legislature NOT keen on enacting new rules on time and had come up with an inbuilt timetable on which parliament was expected to pass in key legislations to give life to this constitutions. Failure to which the legislatures would be sent packing if citizens petitioned parliament. Any citizen could petition parliament for failing to enact laws as spelt out in the fifth schedule in court and have parliament dissolved on this account. Also, this constitution created Constitution Implementation Commission CIC to track and make sure Parliament and Executive carry out the key legislations required by this constitution following the letter and spirit of the new leviathan.

The Good
Within this span of two years we have had our success especially when it comes to the appointment of new judicial officers beginning with the chief justice, the setting up of Interim Electoral & Boundaries Commission IEBC.
The CIC led by Commissioner Charles Nyachae has live up to its bill and has always been forthright with Kenyan’s on matters pertaining to implementation of the new constitution. Other successes of this constitution have been the Kibunja led Commission, National Cohesion & Integration Commission NCIC that tracks instances of hate speech. This body was created by the COE to make sure that incidences of hate speech similar to those that occurred in run up to 2007 elections do NOT occur again. This body has made sure our MP’s do whip up ethnic vibes in the run up to the March 2013 polls.

The Bad
As much as we have done well in some spheres of implementing the new constitution we are lagging behind on reforming our police force. Currently, we have a reformed Judiciary [however, the CJ has been on record saying it will take a few more years until we achieve international standards]. However, as we approached the second year anniversary the last date according to the schedule on implementing the new constitution that we should have an Inspector General. A new inspector General has not been appointed. The position of Inspector General is a new post created by this constitution. The Police have been of the opinion that they do NOT favor a ‘civilian’. This is a term meaning that they would prefer one of their own ‘rank & file’ to ascend to the new position. It remains to be seen what will transpire.

The Ugly
However, even with the new constitution in place we have seen the emergence of Mombasa Republican Council MRC which calls for the cessation of the Coast Province from Kenya. Its clarion call is ‘Pwani si Kenya’ meaning Coast in not in Kenya.
The other big problem we face as a nation has been the eruption of violence in Tana River delta and the emergence of trouble this week at the Coast after the broad daylight assassination of Sheik Rogo who is linked to have ties with Al-Qaida.
We have also witnessed the rise of tensions and animosity in the country with the Miguna Miguna book tour of Kenya. To me some of these happenings seem orchestrated.

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