Tuesday, October 30, 2007
The Law is a Coloured Ass
With Samuel Kivuitu's tenure coming to an end 25 days before this year's general elections slated for December 27, the political stakes are threatening to hit the roof. Raila and Kalonzo may have shown their unity in desperation but Kibaki has already shown who is in charge by sending home Kivuitu's deputy Mukele and five others this week.
Among all the present ECK commissioners, only Kuvuitu, Kihara Muttu and Jack Tuma have handled elections before. Well the President has done nothing unlawful and all his apologists will shout 'it is his prerogative'. But come to think of it. Political maturity, sanity and tranquility is nurtured more on perception of fairness than on mere lawful deeds.
Every constitutional office comes with commensurate responsibilities most of which are extra-legal. Loss of trust is the price you pay for sacrificing goodwill at the alter of playing plastic fidelity with the law.
Law or the box?
But just a minute. The Kenyan law stipulates 5 years for tenure of ECK commissioners. So reappointing Kivuitu would takes him to the next election year 2012 when political tension will be predictably back with us. Speak of being trapped in a perfect vicious cycle.
True, Kivuitu's present position makes him vulnerable to forces he is meant to serve independently. And yes he is an epitome of a rich institutional memory on elections. Removing him at this hour would definitely undermine public confidence in the ECK as the ultimate arbiter in the forth coming polls especially if Kibaki predictably elevates his lawyer Mutttu to ECK chair. What to do?
We cannot afford any productive lives with the present Kenyan constitution which is not only expensive but a fossilized Lancaster document. Any useful change in governance must start with a new constitution. To be honest the root of all tribal and political tension can be raced to selective application of our laws.
We are collectively victims of political expediency when leaders violate the law or apply it selectively. A new constitution will guarantee prosperity to all Kenyans regardless of who is the occupant of State House.
Israel, Italy and Japan change governments virtually every year but remain very stable thanks to established institutions. We need a new constitution now and not tomorrow. But who will deliver us to Canaan? Or put differently who will BELL these cats (scoundrels)? Any takers out there? God have mercy on us, God save bless Kenya.