The Star (Kenya) - - Politics -

HE push by the Op­po­si­tion for the rein­tro­duc­tion of a mixed sys­tem of rep­re­sen­ta­tion hardly comes as a sur­prise.

Re­ports sug­gest the Op­po­si­tion is ex­plor­ing the pos­si­bil­ity of rein­tro­duc­ing the po­si­tion of Prime Min­is­ter and two DPMs as one of the ways to as­suage com­pet­ing in­ter­ests as part of its ef­fort to go into the 2017 elec­tion as a united front and un­stop­pable win­ner.

This means that be­sides the of­fices of Pres­i­dent and Deputy Pres­i­dent, the coun­try could have an ad­di­tional three high pro­file po­si­tions if the Op­po­si­tion gets its way.

Of sig­nif­i­cance though is the wak­ing re­al­ity the coun­try is not yet through with the de­sire of craft­ing the con­sti­tu­tional dis­pen­sa­tion that best serves the com­plex­ity of Kenya’s so­ci­ety.

A harbinger of this was on of­fer in the in­fa­mous Cord “Okoa Kenya” drive, Moses Kuria’s “Pun­guza Mzigo” pro­posal and sev­eral other failed ini­tia­tives that sought to bring about “con­sen­sus” on the Con­sti­tu­tion.

All these ini­tia­tives are re­minders that re­main out­stand­ing is­sues in the much-her­alded and now six-yearold new Con­sti­tu­tion.

Since its tu­mul­tuous pro­mul­ga­tion in 2010, there are signs that the doc­u­ment has failed to ad­dress the sys­temic prob­lems that called for a new con­sti­tu­tional or­der in the first place. Are the spirit and let­ter of the doc­u­ment faulty? Hardly. The rul­ing elite is vague on im­ple­men­ta­tion; it has de­cided to pro­cras­ti­nate in im­ple­ment­ing the doc­u­ment in a man­ner that serves the greater na­tional good. The Gov­er­nors have raised is­sues around the pace of en­trench­ing devo­lu­tion; there has been in­ter­fer­ence with the spirit of the se­cu­rity laws and is­sues sur­round­ing elec­toral re­forms.

The calls for a fresh look at the sys­tem of rep­re­sen­ta­tion were al­ways bound to come back. Both Uhuru Keny­atta and Wil­liam Ruto pulled a fast one on Raila Odinga when the Par­lia­men­tary Select Com­mit­tee on the Con­sti­tu­tion re­treated to Naivasha to har­monise the drafts. Out­ma­noeu­vred and out­num­bered in the com­mit­tee, Raila had to set­tle for the Pres­i­den­tial sys­tem.

But the mat­ter of the sys­tem of rep­re­sen­ta­tion will al­ways haunt the coun­try be­cause it was ar­rived out of a cli­mate of fear and po­lit­i­cal chi­canery at Naivasha. Even un­der this sup­posed new or­der, the Con­sti­tu­tion has failed in its muchan­tic­i­pated at­tempt to tame the ex­cesses of the im­pe­rial Pres­i­dency.

De­spite the mas­sive con­sti­tu­tional dis­per­sal of power, there is hardly any ef­fort ex­pended in re­strain­ing State of­fi­cials from ex­er­cise of raw power. And cor­rup­tion is at its worst.

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