Following the promulgation of the constitution on 27th August 2010, Kenyans were hopeful that life would get better, perhaps not immediately but eventually and increasingly as time went on, as the new constitution seemed to have our interests at heart.
A committee under the chairmanship of Charles Nyachae was formed to oversee the implementation of the constitution but so far it been at logger heads with various arms of the government who have tried hard to change several clauses in the constitution to suit their interests even though the original document was accepted by the people of Kenya in a referendum.
POLITICAL PROSTITUTION IN KENYA
Recent efforts by our MPs to pass bills in the guise of exercising their powers accorded to them by the constitution under article 92, are not in accordance with the spirit of the original document and seems to confirm that a good many MPs were not in support of a new constitution from the onset and will do anything in their power to mutilate it in order to suit their selfish benefits.
Take for instance the recent proposal by Gachoka MP, Mutava Musyimi, to make provisions for ‘party hopping’, a motion
that was supported and passed by a majority of the other honorable members even though the constitution clearly bars MPs from switching political parties. Mutava Musyimi was actually in the ‘NO camp’ during the referendum and has so far identified himself with three political parties.
Ironically, the chairman of the Parliamentary Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee, Abdikadir Mohamed, is a perpetrator of this political immorality, “umalaya wa kisiasa” or in English “political prostitution” as the Prime Minister Raila Odinga calls it.
JOBS FOR THE BOYS
Parliament also tried to change the law to allow presidential aspirants to be allowed to run for other elective positions and to be nominated to Parliament if they lose. Garsen MP Danson Mungatana argued that the first runners-up in the presidential race deserved to be nominated to Parliament so that he/she could mobilise the required official opposition.
The bill also required those seeking elective positions in the senate and parliament to have degrees, a move that according to cabinet minister Dalmus Otieno would lock out 83 MPS and 2,000 aspirants for other elective posts.
PRESIDENT KIBAKI A1 ON 1A
Kenyans reacted with disapproval to these moves, and lobby groups, clergy men and civil society activists urged the President to reject the bill, arguing that it was against the new constitutional order.
There was a relief in the country on Monday evening though when President Kibaki rejected the controversial miscellaneous amendment bill and recommended that the proposed amendment on degrees requirement and the proposed subjection (1A) in the parties political act, be deleted from the bill.
THE SOVEREIGNTY OF THE PEOPLE
Our ‘honorable members’ ought to realise that wananchi are the sole custodians of the constitution and they don’t have the right to fundamentally change it without the public’s participation as that contradicts article 118 (b) which stipulates that, “Parliament shall facilitate public participation and involvement in the legislative and other business of parliament and its committees.”
Article 1 also clearly states that, “All sovereignty power belongs to the people of Kenya and shall be exercised only according to this constitution. “
Thus wanachi’s interests should always prevail.
Our MPs should remember that if they carve up the constitution beyond recognition then although we may not get another say in the matter in a referendum, we can have our say at the next election and pass judgment on those legislators who defy the will of the people of Kenya as recorded in the referendum in 2010.