I have been very pleasantly surprised.
My faith in miracles happening in the land called Kenya has been rekindled.
This has happened as I have watched in utter amazement at the unfolding events in Naivasha where the parliamentary select committee on the constitution has been building consensus over the draft constitution.
Still it is too early to pop the champagne yet. Just watch carefully the politicians who spring up controversy over parts already agreed on. The truth is that there is a small clique of politicians who are very determined that Kenya will NEVER have a new constitution. Their motive is simple. They will be completely unable to operate under a new constitution. They can only thrive and prosper under the current mess.
Which brings me to some words and phrases from Naivasha that I just loved. These words made me want to kiss such known crooks like Ababu Namwamba. I am talking about phrases like “pure presidential system” and “leadership that is accountable.”
Those two phrases ran very deep.
Firstly many Kenyans are not aware of it, but our current system is a high breed system picking from both the Westminster and US models. Is it any wonder that we ended up in such a mess? And the horror of it all is that we were going to jump from the frying pan into the fire proper with another high breed system (eti prime minister and president. My foot!!!). That is why the words “pure presidential system” was music to my ears. Wouldn’t you get nervous when somebody who has not learnt how to use a wheel )or a loaded gun for that matter) properly started attempting to modify it?
Usually pure systems already have inbuilt checks and balances. In a pure presidential system the powers of the president are checked by an independent judiciary and independent legislature. In fact these three key arms of government check each other by remaining independent of each other. Remember I said that I am great believer in keeping stuff simple, I always avoid the temptation to complicate things so as to show off just how much I know about a particular subject (a very common disease in Kenya).
And while every Kenyan is repeating the mantra that has been picked from a certain political party (down with an imperial presidency) we need to pause and think a little more about this imperial presidency thing. What we badly need in Kenya right now is a strong presidency able to get things done. And this brings me to the next phrase that got me all excited. And that is “accountable leadership.” Surely Kenyans do not expect to create a weak presidency and then hold it accountable. It just doesn’t work folks.
We do not need to fear the office of the president in a new constitution as long as we have a strong and independent legislature and judiciary.
I am aware of all the brilliant arguments in favour of a highbreed system with a two-pronged executive. This would have been perfect for a developed nation like South Africa. But not for Kenya where we have hardly scratched the surface of our enormous potential.
I never thought I would ever write the words I am ending this post with… but here I go.
Kudos PSC. You are doing Kenya proud. Finish what you started and Kenya will forever remember you.
Why is your blood boiling Kenyan?