Constitutional Amends, a Misplaced Priority

Opposition leader Raila Odinga during the 2018 annual devolution conference in Kakamega.He called for the amendment of the 2010 Constitution (Image:Courtesy)

It is about a week since the fifth annual Devolution Conference was concluded where county governors had an opportunity to review their gains in the previous years and most importantly make recommendations on how to counter the remedies for the shortcomings and stay ahead in matters devolution.

Amongst the key issues raised was the review of the 2010 Kenyan Constitution to re-introduce the positions of Prime Minister and his two deputies as raised by the former PM Raila Odinga. Alongside that, a proposal was also made to have general leaders who will be responsible for overseeing the county activities in selected regions.

Arguably, the amendment of the Kenyan Constitution will be a positive move, with appropriate planning, towards ensuring future sanity especially in containing electoral injustices. This should not however be treated as a move to expand the executive but to strengthen the authority of independent bodies such as the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and the Judiciary.

There is need to create a community of interest where the constitution will collectively unite the members of the public. As at now, there is a feeling of seclusion where most communities feel excluded by not being part of the governance of the country.

While making the amendments, it is however important that Kenyans, especially the youths be part of the whole process in order to bring in new and fresh ideas.

While it will be a good move to amend the constitution, it is equally of importance for the key stakeholders to consider what is of dire importance to Kenyans currently. The amendment process is expected to cost the taxpayer up to Ksh. 18 billion if the referendum is to hold.

There are other key issues such as devolution and strengthening the economy that need to be addressed and ensure the achievement of the big 4 agenda by the current regime.

The rationale behind devolution for instance, was taking services closer to the people and allowing them to determine their own fate through constant engagement with their leaders.

In order for this system of governance to be firmly embraced, the national government for instance, needs to channel adequate resources to the counties as a way of making the local people feel that they are directing their own destinies.

Economy wise, the national government needs to ensure that it provides a conducive environment for the private sectors to work towards creating jobs and eventually moving the economy to the next level.

More emphasis should be placed on development rather than issues that are otherwise misplaced priorities as at now.

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