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Monday, November 23, 2009

Yes Two Tamed Centres of Power Can Hold

The unpleasant truth be told, the draft constitution will be passed or defeated on the singular issue of competing executive powers between the president and PM. Pretending otherwise is to live a national lie. All the other magnificent clauses will either fall in place or be buried together with the explosive executive power.

The real paradox lies in the hidden acknowledgement from CoEs that all our woes are traceable to imperial presidency while also creating a check in the office of the PM. Well, we know the king size egos of politicians and we only leave such an ambiguity to their so called well-meaning and statesmanship interpretations at our collective peril.

We know the tattered constitution owes its stench not from its print or spirit but wanton abuse by the previous three presidents. While Jomo betrayed all the basic tenets of nationalism at independence, Moi fitted smartly in his predecessor’s ruinous shoes to drive Kenya down the destructive slope. As for Kibaki his love for the nostalgic 1960s left him no time to measure up to Kenyans’ expectation of him following 2002 elections. But all that is water under the bridge.

The present political circumstances though self-inflicted offers us the best opportunity to reclaim Kenya and free ourselves from the evil grip of these selfish politicians. Granted the draft is not perfect, if not a lazy pretence at intellectualism that merely grafted the controversial executive clause to hitherto comprehensive Bomas and divisive Kilifi drafts.

American constitution is often quoted for posterity because while POTUS remains the most powerful person standing on planet earth, he is comprehensively checked by senate and other arms of government. We cannot afford the expensive luxury of leaving the ego of a president and a PM enslave and strangle Kenya forever.

The spirit of CoE’s draft lies in its latent acceptance that we are a nation exclusively led by competing tribal lords. Majority of Kenyans owe their loyalty first to their tribe and country second. The proposed regional governments are nothing but an academic nomenclature of that truism.

So are we ready for both an executive president and PM? Well, while the present proposal was singularly informed by the nasty experience of a suffocating presidency, we MUST tame competing egos with stringent laws that leaves the scoundrels no room to hold Kenya at ransom again, NEVER.

True, majority of Kenyans only read for exams in addition to text messages. But this time we must roll up our sleeves, open our eyes, read the draft and make our opinions count.

And who knows, we could trail blaze uncharted waters of governance. But while at it WATERTIGHT remains the key.


Anonymous said...

Poor Taabu,

The draft constitution has been out there for over a week. We expected that you would at least create a debate based on issues in the draft constitution. Once again, you just gave us what everyone knows, offered nothing new, no leadership, i mean this is just a useless post. Please allow guests who last week gave us debatable issues to control Kumekucha debate. We are all tired of useless rants and womenlike whins. We need intellectual discussions.

Concerned KK reader

papa plus said...

Someone said something very smart here:
Moving the presidential powers to someone else is not going to change anything.

Anonymous said...

Who helps US president or UK premier to govern? We don’t want two centres of power as that job can be ably handled by one person. The so-called CoE tailor-made a draft that Raila and ODM have been advocating in an attempt to grab power from the back door. If Raila wants our mandate to rule us, let him not hide behind some post of executive PM. I care less who leads Kenya but whoever is CEO must get a direct mandate from Kenyans.

Two centres of power will create endless power struggles and that spells doom for our country. Rather than Kenya going Somalia way, I better remain with the current constitution.

The 2012 bloodshed fears being instilled in Kenyans’ mind is Raila’s trick to manipulate Kenyans adopt executive PM that’ll give him power thro the backdoor. Kibaki and Matiba lost to Moi in 1992, Kibaki lost to Moi again in 1997, Uhuru lost to Kibaki in 2002. There were serious claims of rigging in 1992 and 1997. Raila lost to Kibaki in 2007. Kibaki and Raila filed suspect results in their strongholds. Raila ordered his troops to mass action leading to mass murder. How comes Matiba’s, Kibaki’s and Uhuru’s supporters didn’t kill?

Raila refused to file an election petition in court claiming the judicial system was rotten and had failed. He advanced same arguments when being in forefront in demanding removal of CJ Gicheru. The same Raila has changed tune since Ocampo arrived. He has been saying he and Kibaki refused to refer PEV suspects (Kibaki and Rail being top PEV suspects) to ICC because that would have been construed to mean Kenya was a failed state and its judicial system had failed! The PEV has little to do with “STOLEN” elections or constitution. The slaughter and seed of hatred was planted by Raila and his goons in 2005. Raila and Kibaki meddled election results in their strongholds and they filed suspect results. Raila and his ODM goons owe victims apology.

What’s the point of having an election? In the CoE draft, they have created stringent rules to elect a president. But the winner ends up being Commander-in-Chief of Armed Forces, preside over national holidays, receive state guests, open Parliament and perform other ceremonial functions. Anyone who is not well schooled can do that. On the other hand, an MP waits for MPs to crown him PM with sweeping and exclusive executive powers to appoint the Cabinet, chair Cabinet meetings and run the Government. The PM’s decisions will almost be final. A constitution is posterity and not short-term desire to attain power.

A presidential candidate will be seeking Kenyans’ votes based on what promises? To inspect guard of honours, sign bills into law, receive other presidents and perform other ceremonial duties? What party policies will he sell? Suppose MPs settle on the Kalembe Ndile type of PM? Isn’t this taking a huge gamble on who would be Kenya’s CEO? Will the PM be selling his ideologies and party policies to MPs or Kenyans?

The universally accepted democracy is one man one vote. I am against a hybrid system. We must have one CEO like in US. If Kenyans settle for any of the above, there must be a level playing field for all political players. If we have been calling for a level playing field when it comes to presidential elections, why not the same when electing a PM?

Moi created less-densely populated constituencies in RV and North Eastern and some MPs are elected by 10,000 voters or less and that’s how he ended with a big chunk of MPs but a small tally of national votes. Central, Nairobi, Eastern, Western and Nyanza have densely populated constituencies and some MPs voted by more than 150, 000 people.

ODM benefited from Moi’s unorthodox scheme and won majority seats in 2007. If Kenyans decide on parliamentary system to choose executive PM, Mt Kenya folks will be totally disadvantaged. ODM favours Moi’s skewed democracy to get power thro back door. The Central Kenya MPs making a fuss with the CoE draft have valid point only that they lack unity, vocal and eloquent spokesman and offer disjointed and incoherent arguments and submissions.

Anonymous said...

When I hear people talk of two centres of power I wonder about their comprehension skills. The draft clearly says the PM is the head of governmennt. The powers and functions of the national government are set out in schedule 4. Those powers are to be exercised by the PM as head of Government. And there is no check on him/her as head of government. The proposed presidency is not a centre of power. It is only above the PM in terms of pecking order, the same way the queeen and the Archbishop of Canterburry are above the UK PM in pecking order. But what governmental power do they have? The president can only make some appointments, which require someone else's approval, advice or recommendation. I have no problem with shifting power to PM and cabinet but there has to be equal representation. The proposed president should also just be elected by parliament. It seems to me COE think the current president is powerful because he has the title "president". It may sound simplistic but we know he will still be powerful even with a different title.

Injeraz said...

This is an imprialist Westernised constitutuion being forced down our throats. I think Kenyans will live to regret this draft if passed in current form. With two centres of power Kenya will forver remain on edge and unstable which sia perfect scenario for Britain & U.S it is not a peoples constitutuion just some Western copy & paste which will be perfect for the imperialists to continue to exploit us. Kenyans should reject this constitution and go for stabilization reforms. We are at a fragile time and are rushing into this blind.

Injeraz said...

On the other hand this could be a blessing in disguise. since it will be pointless to vote for a ceremonial president, there might finally be peace in this country during election time as no one will turn up to vote. yes MPs will vote for our commander in chief, but better the corrupt MPs than Kenyans hacking each other every five years? scarp the peoples vote altogether

Anonymous said...

What will happen when we have fully implemeted the majimbo devolution? Some jimbos will become militia jimbos, and the tribal warlords will be deciding who can hold a public rally and who can't. Remember Raila used to be received like a messiah in public rallies in the RV. Today, he has to be protected by GSU and other riot police units in order to hold successful rallies in the same province and this is because he has disagreed with the local kingpins. Na mambo bado.

Anonymous said...

@10:26 PM, please man up and stop your irrational whining.

Until Kikuyus learn to stop stealing everything they come across, including elections. Not one person I have met in my classes in the US (Europeans, Africans, and even Asians) believe that Kibaki won that election. Not one person! Wow! Ati president.

And stop blaming Moi, for he did not start thievery of public lands, corruption, tribalism, stealing elections, etc. Blame your useless corrupt thief Jomo Kenyatta who owns more than 1 million acres of public land in Kenya. Now that is what deserves to be divided, not constituencies that will just lead to creating more illiterate Kyuk MPs who earn our tax shillings and cannot even speak English or Swahili well.

Anonymous said...

@ANON 1:55 AM, disuss issues and not insults. You failed to make headway in Kenyan education and went to study in US to learn to hurl cheap insults? You are not worth being in a class but holed up in a Kogelo type village in Nyanza drinking chang'aa. Educated people discuss issues and ideas and not cheap insults.

Tell us why you support or oppose the draft and not your ranting as that wont take you anywhere. Kikuyus are here to stay and if you don't like it, take a rope and hang yourself or jump into the ocean.

Election results matter and not perception. Tell those in your class to continue imaging what they wish. You have to live with the fact Kibaki will remain president till 2012. Kibaki and Raila stole elections in their strongholds and that's why they shamelessly shared power. None of the two has a moral legitimacy to the positions they occupy today

Mwaura said...

2012 will probably not make a difference in the structure at the top even with the proposed new constitution. It will probably be the same non reformists occupying different positions. If we manage to avoid post election violence, I suggest we look towards 2017 to bring grassroots change to our country.
For those interested in debating meaning full change without the name calling, we invite readers to check out this blog We will be inviting guest writers. Mwarang'ethe will be presenting an upcoming piece on a section of the draft Constitution

Anonymous said...

@2:31 AM, Kikuyus are here to stay and commit more murders, rape, carjack, etc, etc. Quite a record, ama?

Oh and of course steal and commit thievery because they have no morals.

Any questions?

Anonymous said...

@ Anon 4.22pm
So what can you do about it? Absolutely nothing!

You seem under the illusion that the constitution is designed to keep Kikuyus at bay........wel,l guess what? The last I checked Rail, ruto and the entire ODM anti kikyu cabal were wining and dining and carving up kenya with your imagined "enemies" the kikuyu

The reality is that this draft is designed to carve out political fiefdoms for the political class, there are only two tribes in kenya, the haves and the have nots

The have nots hack at each other with pangas, while the haves are laughing all the way to the bank. Meanwhile, their children crash BMWs and mercercedes as they drag race on the streets of nairobi while the have nots children go hungry.

Anonymous said...

@7:17 PM, take your limited brain back to your little village: A mind is a terrible thing to waste.

F@*k Kibaki, Kenyatta, and their mothers who brought these ba$t*%ds to this world through their poop holes. Oh and anyone else who has stolen the mwananchis hard earned money over the last 46 years or so. Be it Moi, Kenyatta, Raila, and of course most of all the numero uno thief, Mwizi Jomo Kenyatta.

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