Saturday, August 7, 2010

A new chapter to transform Kenya is born

Kenyans voted for the new constitution with great enthusiasm, making a landmark for what they have been craving for in many decades.

This is not a victory for the President, Vice President or the Prime Minister, in the grand coalition government but a victory for democracy and the future of all ages whose ideas and aspirations are well captured in the new law.

Our hopes pegged on seeing a paradigm shift in the management of the Country’s governance affairs in the social, economic and political spheres, as the government moves towards the implementation stage for the new law.

The expectations from the Kenyan people are very high. Its reminiscent of the rainbow coalition of 2002.The resiliency exhibited in the way people voted during the referendum reflects a nation thirsting for a positive transformation.

The new constitution contains wonderful provisions which if implemented to the letter, will transform the Country into a haven for the citizens and non citizens. There is hope in many spheres for instance, dispensation of justice through the bill of rights, respect of freedoms, equity and equality to all cadres in the society, devolution and other pro-citizen provisions.

Those in the helm of leadership should unequivocally steer the nation through the new “bureaucracy” to positively change the lives of the Kenyan people. We want to see our governance systems and processes begin to change earnest, so that shouts of hurrah and jubilation that characterized the passage of the new law will hold water for the benefit of the people of Kenya.

We don’t want to heave a sigh of relief the way we did in 1963 after independence and still continue being manacled by civil strife, tribalism, disunity, injustice, corruption and other vices.

The new law should transform and restore our broken governance systems and processes for the benefit of millions of Kenyan people.

President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila need to be commended for their spade work to ensure the passage of the new constitution but the biggest job they have at hand is ensuring that the aspirations of Kenyans that are captured in the document are implemented so that they can have confidence in the new law.

That said, the two leaders also need to reach out to the opposing camps during the referendum campaigns in order to bridge divide for purposes of national healing, unity, peace and reconciliation.
The Church and political leaders who opposed the law in the referendum should support the government by putting behind their differences because they all played a good game but one team had to win.

They need to shake each others hands, accept the verdict and focus on national interests as opposed to being hypercritical about the law which has already been ratified by the Kenyan majority through universal suffrage.

Political leaders and citizens who didn’t vote for the ratification of the new law are required to democratically respect it and pledge their allegiance to it to enable our country move on. This was well demonstrated when the “no” camp conceded defeated through their defacto leader honourable William Ruto. It was a reflection of political maturity and respect for the democratic process.

Implementing constitutional provisions is different from honouring political promises, which are often not binding. Therefore, the constitution being the new law of the land and binding must be implemented to the letter. Kenyans don’t their dreams and expectations shuttered but respected and fulfilled according to the new law.
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