Do not allow selfish lot bastardise Constitution
Kenyans of goodwill must stand up against systematic attempts to roll back civil liberties and rights that were achieved after decades of painful and bloody struggles.
They must resist attempts by a cabal of establishment politicians making odious schemes to change the Constitution, with the ultimate objective of creating an all-powerful Executive.
The centre-piece of the 2010 Constitution is dispersal of powers by establishing independent institutions — a pillar we must secure at all costs.
Immediately after the August elections, National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale announced plans to change the law to trim the powers of constitutional offices, among them the Auditor-general, whose occupant, Edward Ouko, is seen by the establishment as too independent minded and non-pliant by consistently exposing massive plunder and theft of public resources.
Matters came to a head after the Supreme Court quashed the outcome of the presidential election for gross illegalities and irregularities and consequently ordered a repeat polls. President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto led the onslaught on the court, insulting and threatening the judges and specifically targeting Chief Justice David Maraga whose stewardship of the Judiciary has since earned him a place in the annals of history.
Last week, Jubilee Senators were scheming to introduce a motion in the Senate to clip the powers of the Supreme Court, effectively to make the Judiciary subservient to the Executive.
Separately, Nyeri MP Ngunjiri Wambugu, arguably acting like a Kanu-era sycophant, went ahead to file a petition with the Judicial Service Commission seeking to remove CJ Maraga from office ostensibly for invalidating the presidential election.
Paradoxically, when National Super Alliance rejected the results of the August 8 polls, the Executive, election observers, religious leaders, business community and everyone who cared, told the opposition to seek legal redress.
But when the Nasa brigade took the matter to court and won, all of a sudden, the court became a devil’s den. Yet, when in 2013 the court validated Kenyatta’s victory, it was an angel’s court. This is hypocrisy at its worst!
In all these, a clear pattern is developing. There are devious designs to undermine independent institutions through political, legal and policy machinations and the net sum is to create an imperial presidency. The constitution that we annulled in 2010 was never a bad piece of document. It was made so through orchestrated amendments right from independence such that, by the early 1990s, it was in tatters.
When a cabal of leaders start to change it to suit their myopic ends, they will not stop. Today they will go for this institution, tomorrow it will be that individual. By the time they are done, what was hailed as the best Constitution in the region will not be identifiable.
When, for example, the Kanu administration changed the constitution in 1982 to make Kenya a de facto one party state, it laid the foundation for a totalitarian and dictatorial regime that went ahead to kill, maim, suppress and economically deprive citizens.
When in the late 1980s Kanu moved a motion in Parliament to remove security of tenure of constitutional offices like the Attorney-general, Auditor-general, among others, it rendered the institutions vulnerable to the presidency. Office holders became beholden to the Executive.
It is for this reason that the 2010 Constitution put in place several pillars to secure checks and balances. It unequivocally states that the country is pluralistic and the people are sovereign, which sovereignty they delegate to elected leaders and who, in various articles, are subject to national values and fidelity to the law.
When elected leaders begin to breach the law; when they seek to reverse constitutional gains and when they attempt to consolidate powers and centralise them in the office of the President, all people of goodwill must stand up and say No.
We must keep vigil and stop all attempts to bastardise the Constitution.
Conscientious politicians, civil society, religious leaders, business people and individuals must fight and protect the hard-earned liberties.