Coming back from a self imposed hiatus of motherland Ke woes, I thought it would be best to take a moment to reflect on the current initiatives by leadership to bring back harmony, hope and vision for the country.
In this regard there are two major processes in the works – The Handshake phenomenon ushered in Building Bridges Initiative, while a radical reform process initiated by Thirdway Alliance Party known as the Punguza Mizigo movement has culminated in a bill presented to parliament
I do not think we are going to do a side by side comparison, but would like to interrogate the merits or demerits or shortfalls that each present
So first lets look at the supporting documentation
The goals are captured in this document
For a status update click on the link below
We are waiting on the final report which I believe will be anytime within the next two months
The goals are outlined here in the link below
not sure what happened, there were some signatures collected, but somehow, boom, we now have a constitutional amendment bill
There is matter currently in court on whether this bill can be debated in the house(s) and for that reason its currently on hold.
My initial thoughts on this are simple.
Whereas Thirdway Alliance derives its purpose and momentum from the popular belief that there is a lot of wastage and bloat in government, representation etc, it then takes a sharp curve blindsiding everyone and unanimously draws up a constitutional amendment bill. This is quite strange considering that their leader was part of that prestigious Committee of Experts that helped draft the 2010 Constitution. He was part of the entire process and should therefore know the importance of comprehensive public participation in rewriting a constitution. He is fully aware of the shortcuts leading to the failed Bomas draft. And its almost like he wants to push his version of the constitution that probably got snuffed out amongst his fellow giants in that committee. This bill is an ambush of sorts and cannot purport to speak for every Kenyan even if founded on high moral ground, because we have not seen due process.
The BBI on the other hand, will not generate any different views than were presented during the marathon view gathering leading to the 2010 Constitution. Further, most of the peoples recommendations have been captured many times over the past 60 years, in surveys, workshops, interviews, reports etc, which currently decorate shelves in the various ministries and departments. I recall the famous The Nairobi We Want as one of the milestones, but there have been literally hundreds maybe thousands of these done in cycles that are now dizzying to reflect on. Lets get real people, we are not going to get any more new/dazzling ideas.
The main problem as always has been in taking those recommendations, putting them into law and then putting them into practice. Getting more laws or changing some document is not going to change the basic core and culture of Kenyans – taking bribes, giving bribes, cutting corners/taking shortcuts, gobbling national resources, embezzling public funds, ethnic profiling, discrimination, corruption, stupidity, etc. So in short the BBI will rehash the same stuff we have heard over the years into a lovely report, more handshakes and then back to business as usual.
Will wait on the final BBI report and come revisit this post