Reports that there is a plot to derail the implementation of the new Constitution are disturbing. This week, Prime Minister Raila Odinga raised the red flag over what he termed as saboteurs of the new Constitution in the Government.
The PM said there are senior Government officials intent on derailing the implementation of the Constitution. He said the officials were frustrating the establishment of key institutions required to implement the new law.
Worse still, he said there was intense resistance by these individuals to the establishment of the institutions required to carry the Constitution forward.
Addressing a special roundtable session to evaluate the status of the implementation of the Constitution where senior Government officials and representatives of agencies charged with implementing the Constitution were present, the PM also reminded all public servants of their obligation to develop policies and not to use their positions in Government to serve vested interests.
Those genuinely committed to reforms should heed the concerns the PM raised. It is sad to hear that some of the people charged with ensuring the new Constitution is implemented within the set timelines are the same ones sabotaging the process.
That is why on August 4, 2010, over 12 million Kenyans participated in a referendum to decide whether to accept or reject a new Constitution. An overwhelming majority – about 70 per cent – voted in favour of the ratification of the new laws. This then culminated in a colourful promulgation ceremony at Uhuru Park on August 27, the same year.
The two-decade agitation for and the process of constitutional review was perhaps one of the most protracted in the world. Along the way, people were maimed, detained without trial, and numerous lives were needlessly lost.
Kenyans endured a painful past in the struggle for a new constitutional dispensation. Forces of impunity should not erode this.
At the same time, the country is yet to recover from the dark chapter that we went through after the 2007 General Election. The post-election violence witnessed as a result of a disputed presidential election result showed just how vulnerable we were as a nation.
Having institutions firmly grounded on the Constitution will help the country correct the mistakes we have made in the past.
Against this background, the warning by Raila that there are senior Government officials intent on derailing the implementation of the Constitution is sad indeed.