Netizen 24 KEN: Uhuru's legacy should focus on constitutionalism

Diposting oleh On 16.03

Uhuru's legacy should focus on constitutionalism

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Uhuru's legacy should focus on constitutionalism
President Uhuru Kenyatta accompanied by his wife Margaret Kenyatta takes  the oath of office for his second term as Chief Justice David Maraga and Registrar of the Judiciary Anne Amadi look on at the Kasarani stadium on November 28,2017
President Uhuru Kenyat ta accompanied by his wife Margaret Kenyatta takes the oath of office for his second term as Chief Justice David Maraga and Registrar of the Judiciary Anne Amadi look on at the Kasarani stadium on November 28,2017

Kenya’s Forth President missed an opportunity in his first term to deliver on the culture of constitutionalism â€" shared attitudes, values, goals and practices.

Uhuru Kenyatta is the first President to be elected under the 2010 Constitution, which is one of the most progressive supreme laws in the world.

The manner in which Kenyans behaved the last election, and in addressing various political and economic problems we faced last year, showed a situation where they are captured by the political elites.

Kenyans appear to have abdicated their sovereign and inalienable right to elect a people-centred government, and to hold the political elite and public officials to account for political, administrative and f iscal decisions that affect them directly.

The presidency is a symbol of national unity and it is important for President Uhuru to pursue a legacy of constitutionalism in his second and final term.

The legacy of the culture of constitutionalism would focus on Kenyans’ behavioural change, a government aimed at using the Constitution to serve and protect the people, and to obey and keep the social contract with Kenyans. Such a legacy would reform and transform the moral values of Kenyans.

In the first term, President Uhuru appeared to have only made attempts to fight corruption, and focussed more on his reelection, which could have compromised the implementation of the Constitution. This is judging from the headwinds against our political and economic progress last year.

The ultimate goal of the culture of constitutionalism will be to deliver true democracy, true justice, peace and unity in one indivisible sovereign nation that acknowledges the supremacy of t he Almighty God. This culture will address weak electoral systems and political interference with other arms of the government and independent institutions. The legacy of the culture of constitutionalism would be historically significant and Kenyans will remember it for generations to come.

The economic development agenda alone, without culture of constitutionalism, won’t constitute a good legacy for President Uhuru. Undeniably, there is need to focus on priority areas such as universal healthcare, manufacturing, security and food and nutrition security are important for a good life. But their successful implementation would require an enabling political, social and economic environment.

The ideology behind the 2010 Constitution is liberal democracy aimed at delivering a good life and country for all Kenyans. It envisages an environment of good governance, with citizens and the government fully committed to political, administrative and fiscal accountability.

There is, therefore, an urgent need for the President to host an all-inclusive conference to honestly dialogue and with intentions to set up, a tasforce and /or a commission to deliver his legacy of constitutionalism. The sequencing order is important. It should start by delivering the culture of constitutionalism, followed by liberal democracy, and then economic development â€" universal healthcare, manufacturing, security and food and nutrition security. The reverse order is not attainable; and will not deliver to the aspirations of all Kenyans for a government based on the essential values of human rights and true justice.

Ruth Gordon defines constitutionalism as a culture that binds the people and the government to the letter and spirit of the Constitution to promote democracy, rule of law, respect for human rights and good governance.

St Thomas Aquinas argues that the laws made in a state, including the Constitution, must bind the conscience of the people for the m to be obeyed. For the Constitution to bind the conscience of the people, there must be a process of sanitisation aimed at reforming and transforming the culture of the people through religion, legislation, policy formulation, institutional reforms and political goodwill by leaders. Constitutionalism would therefore be the best legacy for President Uhuru.

The 2017 repeat presidential election and unsettled historical injustices left Kenya in a highly polarised state. There is hopelessness, hatred and bitterness among a huge number of the Kenyan population.

And calling on Kenyans to move on as a nation now that there is a government in place is a sign of denial politically, socially and economically. The people of Kenya need to seek forgiveness of sins and to submit to the will of God, no matter how illogical it seems at time and reflect seriously on how their delegated sovereign powers are exercised by the Executives, Parliamnet and the Judiciary, as well as their count y governments.

Electoral systems and the moral values must also be reformed and strengthened to enable Kenyans to democratically elect a people-centred government that will focus on the common good for all Kenyans to live in peace and unity. The feeling of many Kenyans is that this country is a constituency of 44 tribes. But first, there is an urgent need to address the illegitimacy question, secession calls and then pursue the development and transformation agenda.

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