The civil society has been challenged to give the country political guidance by advocating for policies that strengthen nationhood.
Addressing a forum convened by the Citizens’ Coalition for a Constitutional Culture (4Cs-Trust) on the implementation of the Constitution recently, former PC Joseph Kaguthi said civil society must share the responsibility for the growth of negative ethnicity and lack of national unity.
“We, as leaders, public servants, constitutional commissions, and civil society have failed in the task of nation building and enhancing the gains of the new Constitution. Kuzaa si kitu ngumu, kulea ndio ngumu (to give birth is not difficult, bringing up the baby is the hard part),” Mr Kaguthi told the participants.
The former chairman of the National Authority for Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse told the civil society that the country needs guidance as it goes through transition to a new system of governance.
Civil society, political parties, NGOs and lobby groups are working with the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs under the auspices of the 4Cs-Trust’s Kenya Tuitakayo (The Kenya We Want) initiative to awaken Kenyans to the reality of a new constitutional dispensation.
The forum provided an opportunity for a citizen report card on the status of the implementation of reforms and the generation of publicity around emerging issues and concerns, especially around legislations and the legislative environment ahead of elections.
“We are organising these forums countrywide to embolden and affirm that the emerging constitutional spirit constitutes a priority agenda in informing and directing proper management of the transition and the implementation of reforms,” 4Cs Executive Director Ochieng’ Khairalla says.
Civil society has designed a strategic plan to restore ‘Wanjiku’ as the symbol of the reform agenda so as to secure, defend and nurture the gains of the new Constitution by enhancing citizens’ insight, oversight and audit role into constitutionalism and legislative environment.
Among the organisations involved in the 4Cs initiative are the Constitution Implementation Commission (CIC), Kenya Law Reform Commission, Attorney-General’s office, Parliament, the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC), the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC), faith-based, women and youth groups, alongside other constitutional organs.
The parliamentary Constitution Implementation Oversight Committee, Budget Committee, the Commission on Administration of Justice (Ombudsman), the Transitional Authority, the International Commission of Jurists Kenya Chapter, the Kenyans for Peace with Truth and Justice and the Kenya National Human Rights Commission are also involved in the initiative.