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Saturday, November 03, 2007

Constitutional Reforms: Kibaki Has Taken Kenyans For A Long Ride

For decades, Kenya has been a democracy in name only. Mwai Kibaki made a pre-election pledge in 2002 to draw up a new constitution that would - among other things - limit the powers of the president, decentralize executive power and set up an autonomous prime minister, all within 100 days of attaining power. As the years have gone by, there is no sign of a new constitution and it is increasingly becoming apparent that it is not in Kibaki’s interest to facilitate a new devolved constitution that he so tirelessly fought for in his days as Leader of Official Opposition in parliament. These are some of his quotes on the subject as president:

“We should not allow the search for a new constitution divide us. Let us forget the past and come together in producing a document that will serve all Kenyans. You have already drafted what you wanted in a constitution and you were almost completing the process. Each one of us know what remained, therefore let us complete it, I know we will complete the constitutional review process and get a new constitution. We cannot be a nation which does not successfully conclude national issues.” President Kibaki (24th December 2005)

"I want to assure all Kenyans that the Government is committed to facilitating the development of a new constitution through a people driven process, President Kibaki (06th June 2006)

“I wish to point out that the agenda of producing new constitution has remained outstanding following the rejection of the draft constitution during the referendum. However, as I pledged to Kenyans, my Government remains keen on facilitating the making of a constitution.” President Kibaki New Year Speech 1st January 2007

After paying lip service to the country for five years, Kibaki comes to end of his mandate and he has absolutely no report worth talking about regarding the reform process. And with the blind support of catholic church leadership (whatever happened to steadfast clergymen like Rev. Timothy Njoya?), Kibaki has once again declared his interest in leading this country with only but one agenda at hand – selective economic development. He conveniently forgets that Kenyans do not have a new constitution and yet this was initially what made him and his NARC Summit team to be elected in the first place. This is betrayal of the worst order. Is the voter going to be conned into giving that mandate again?

The other alternative, ie the Orange Democratic Movement, has already put tangible material on the table for the electorate to digest and it will be up to them to judge who can really deliver what they want.

According to the published pre-election agenda of ODM’s Raila Odinga, the desire for a new devolved constitution, by Kenyans for Kenyans, has been a long struggle. Efforts to achieve this were first thwarted by the Moi regime. That betrayal of the common good was followed by a similar betrayal by President Kibaki. For that reason, the ODM candidate is promising that:

Raila Odinga WILL:
  • deliver Kenyans the Constitution they asked for, as reflected in the Bomas draft;
  • submit as part of ODM’s election manifesto the Draft Constitution for the people to peruse and endorse;
  • enact the new Constitution as a first major piece of legislation of an ODM government;
  • enhance the parliamentary system of government, and give up presidential powers as required by the system;
  • introduce genuine power-sharing with a prime minister, as outlined in the Bomas Draft;
  • submit to parliament a Political Parties Bill to guarantee public funding for political parties, to prescribe standards of financial conduct and internal party democracy, and to define relations between parties in a coalition government;
  • submit to parliament legislative proposals that provide for the independent regulation of political parties and their registration, and their ability to operate free of executive harassment and to compete in elections free of unfair disadvantage.
Such commitment on a critical matter as the constitution is what Kenyans should demand from all presidential candidates. Raila has gone further and signed an MOU with Kenyan Muslims on the same subject in exchange for their support.

The big question is: What have Kalonzo, Muiru and Kibaki (Oh no, not again!) put on the table?


Anonymous said...

What makes you think that Raila is any different? I am sorry Bwana Phil, politicians no matter which part of the political divide they fall, they are all the same. Or why do you think they only agree when it comes to raising their salaries.
Even if Raila were to become President I don't see him agreeing to have an executive Prime Minister. After having gone to the United States to beg all those times, I don't see him giving all that power to Hon. Ruto.
My other point is this, don't start telling us about the constitution. This I believe is just a tactic of making us forget all the goofing from the "Pentagon". It's clear for all to see that the Majimbo debate is one that has made ODM-yawa ratings to go down. Now it's not Majimbo, it's Ugatuzi. Just go ahead and Kwamchetsi Makokha's Stupidity Index in today's daily nation.
I was foreseeing an ODM-yawa victory but with so many questions not yet ironed out, I don't see that happening. Don't you forget the issue about the MOU with the Muslim community.
Ironically, even the Muslims are doubting Raila. Yesterday I had in my possession a leaflet being given out to Muslims when they went for their Friday prayers. The argument being brought out went like this: Since Kibaki took over power he has not been in good terms with the west. If there was any need for funding he has preferred to go East (China & Japan). Despite all that the Muslim community has been treated badly. Now, Raila is said to have had an MOU with the US of A. What will happen when such a man is at the helm? The leaflet purports that they are better with a Kibaki presidency than with a friend of the Americans.
Ponder upon that.
Christians are skeptical and so are Muslims. Where does your man go?

Anonymous said...

Seems that kumekucha has become an extension of ODM campaign machinery

The Rendezvous said...

It is worth to note that, Muslims have gone ahead to make an MOU with Raila which should not be taken for granted.Why do some christian groups allied to PNU question the MOU Muslims had with Raila?

When we say, Muslims..It doesn't imply Somalis and Coast people, but all Muslims in Kenya, including Luos, Gikuyus, kalenjins, Massais etc.

I do think that, Referendum was just a rehersal for Election 2007.

Many Kenyans feel betrayed and think Raila "can" be the person to rely on.

Anonymous said...

You guys are disappointing. I've been coming here for hours and left empty-eyed.You'd better be cooking some huge propaganda, pls don't disappoint again.

Patriot said...

Central Kenya MPs now back Majimbo


Central Kenya MPs have agreed for the first time to back Majimbo – a federal system of government.

The policy switch came during a marathon meeting of the Central Kenya Parliamentary Group which ended at 2am yesterday.

Previously the MPs, mainly from the Gikuyu, Embu and Meru Association (Gema), had insisted Majimbo would be too expensive for Kenya.

Discussions at the meeting – at La belle Inn in Naivasha – centred on the MPs' political survival and their representation in the next government after President Moi retires.

Key to that aim, one MP said, was the need to mobilise Central Kenya communities to join a single political party to ensure they have strong bargaining power in the formation of the next government.

The group believes that if they support a single political party along with "some selected friendly communities" they could comfortably win at least 70 to 80 Parliamentary seats.

The MPs also discussed strategies for the economic revival of Central Kenya and ways of ensuring that the region was fully represented in a future goverrnment.

Within that context four of the MPs said they would not be opposed to supporting a Kanu candidate at the next General Election, although a clear majority of the 35 MPs present later claimed the four had been giving only their personal views and did not speak either for the Parliamentary group or for Gema.

The marathon meeting started on Thursday at 8 pm.

The MPs were mainly from the Democratic Party, Ford-People, the Social Democratic Party and Safina, while Gatundu South MP Moses Muihia and Dagoretti MP Beth Mugo attended the group's meeting for the first time.

DP chairman Mwai Kibaki skipped the talks, which were chaired by group chairman and DP patron Njenga Karume (Kiambaa). Kieni's Chris Murungaru was secretary.

Speaking to the Nation later, Mr Karume said that the group was planning another meeting in Nairobi next week.

"We discussed the development of Central Kenya but we shall tell you more then," Mr Karume said.

Kanu's President Moi and NDP leader Raila Odinga have now been mandated by their parties to work out a merger.

On the other hand, Mr Kibaki, who is believed to support the Central Kenya group, has been in talks with Ford Kenya's Kijana Wamalwa and NPK leader Charity Ngilu in search of alignment.

Sources at the Naivasha meeting told the Nation that members had in a radical departure resolved to support majimbo; the federal system of government.

"We have now decided to go for majimbo but we still stand by our position that we should have a government of national unity," a source told the Nation yesterday.

However, they have set one condition for majimbo – that the provincial boundaries are reworked and people allowed to register in the jimbo (federal state) of their choice.

They plan to present their detailed proposals on this to the Constitution of Kenya Review Commission when it begins collecting views.

The meeting discussed the coffee industry and resolved to demand the release of the remaining Stabex cash.

"We have to fight for the political and economic empowerment of our people and find ways of tackling the elections. That is why we met. We are particularly angered by the Government's refusal to release the Stabex funds in toto. We are tired of waiting," another MP said.

The MPs also complained that the Government was dragging its feet over implementation of the Donde Act to regulate interest rates and the Coffee Bill which is yet to be tabled .

MPs Matu Wamae, Chris Murungaru and Muhika Mutahi, said the meeting discussed which leaders could reach out to other Kenyan communities.

Dr Murungaru said: "Nevertheless this was a special meeting and that is why we decided to meet at night when there is not much distraction."

Dr Murungaru gave the Nation a list of MPs who attended the meeting. They included; Joseph Kuria Mukira (Subukia), Paul Kihara (Naivasha), Martha Karua (Gichugu), Mwangi Kiunjuri (Laikipia East), Kamande Mwangi (Maragwa), Maina Njakwe (Mathioya), Joshua Toro (Kandara), Chege Mbitiru (Laikipia West), Muriuki Karue (Ol Kalao), James Kibicho (Ndia), David Manyara (Nakuru Town), Mwangi Githiomi (Kipipiri), Philip Gitonga (Lari), Beth Mugo (Dagoretti), Norman Nyaga (Kamukunji), Njehu Gatabaki (Githunguri), Patrick Muiruri (Gatundu North), David Mwenje (Embakasi), Stephen Ndichu (Juja), David Murathe (Gatanga), Njeru Ndwiga (Manyatta), Thirikwa Kamau (Ndaragwa), Ngenye Kariuki (Kiharu), Adolf Muchiri (Kasarani), Alfred Nderitu (Mwea), Moses Muihia (Gatundu South), John Michuki (Kangema), Matere Keriri (Kerugoya Kutus), Kihara Mwangi (Kigumo), David Mwiraria (Imenti North) and Kiraitu Murungi (Imenti South).

Anonymous said...

How is it that just anybody can publish a blog and get as popular as this? Its not like youve said anything extremely impressive more like youve painted a quite picture about an issue that you know nothing about! I dont want to sound mean, here. But do you really think that you can get away with adding some quite pictures and not really say anything?

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