Kenya’s journey to drafting its own constitution was met with its fair share of challenges. From lack of belief by foreign statesmen to intimidation of staff undertaking the patriotic process.
In 2010 Kenya inaugurated the constitution, drafted by Kenyans, with Kenyans and for Kenyans. However, the manner in which the document is being implemented, have trampled on the efforts of those fighting for independence.
The constitution has had its fair share of obstacles. From disregard among government agencies, to open defiance amongst institutions charged with defending the lives of Kenyans.
The Executive ‘High table’
The Executive has been constantly under sharp criticism for carelessly abusing its power to humiliate other arms of government, including the ‘Independent Judiciary’
In his public addresses, President Uhuru Kenyatta has been captured labeling the Judiciary as characters among the ‘Wakora Network”. This was after the nullification of 2017 presidential results.
“We shall revisit”– Was one of the most iconic statements that almost triggered war between the two arms of government.
Fast forward to 2020, Chief Justice Maraga has been engaging in a war of words between himself and the President. He has continuously accused the government of dishonoring court direction, and undercutting its ability to operate. Consequently, this could jeopardize the implementation of the constitution by government authorities.
2 thirds gender rule
The Law Society of Kenya wrote to the Judiciary, seeking to dissolve the National Assembly for not being able to pass the two-thirds gender rule.
The inclusion of women in elective positions has for long been sidelined by their male counterparts. Case-in-point, everytime the house is required to pass the two thirds gender rule motion, ironically the legislators dissapear from the house.
However, amid this gross violation of the constitution, parliament still continues to function as though things were normal.
County disaster / Devolved corruption
Among the touted clauses of the constitution included the notion of running the government concurrently with other smaller units commonly reffered to as county governments.
However, the elective position brought about multiple positions that have since been rendered useless, only a source of income to some counties.
From deplorable health care provision, to poor service delivery, Kenya’s county system has forced some areas to be marginalized completely, as the distribution of funds to counties only benefit areas with high population.
This has led to constant plea by the grassroots and arid counties to be allocated more funds inorder to effect proper service delivery.
Counties have also been plagued with gross corruption allegations, as well as numerous strikes due to unpaid salaries.
Police Force or Service
Since time imemorial, Kenya Police have been under sharp criticism for instances where the boys in blue have employed excessive force to deal with the citizens, and milk them dry from endless bribes.
Several youths have been denied a right to a fair trial, suffering under the hands of Police officers cum executioners in broad daylight.
This is despite the massive millions that have been put in place to transition the officers from a Police force to a police service.
Most recently, was the decision to whisk away 3 senetors on the eve of a crucial vote, in what was seen as misuse of the police to intimidate their position in the Division of revenue debacle.
The BBI recommendations for a referrendum’
Despite falling behind in these few examples, the Building Bridges Initiative has seen it fit to implement a few changes to the constitution.
However, the constitution does not need to be altered, all state agencies and personalities must do is to ensure the constitution is upheld, without fear or favour.
The calls for a referrendum for an ‘effective constitution’ have been reduced to a debate about rewarding the opposition and expanding Kenya’s already expensive government.
The government is under the constitution and nobody stands fit to trample the constitution, either due to their rank or influnce.
We must all do our part in protecting the constitution, since it governs us and it was meant for us. Kenyans voted yes to it, and as soon as President Mwai Kibaki presented it in 2010, Kenya was elected to guard it at all times.