No fresh negotiations on new constitution-Civil societies tell Kibaki
BY BEAUTTAH OMANGA
Civil societies are now united in urging President Kibaki and Prime minister Raila Odinga to shun demands by the opponents of the newly passed constitution for fresh negotiations on clauses they singled out as contentious.
The groups said the two principals and Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka should respect the new law and abide by its directions on how amendments should be carried out.
“ Any backdoor negotiations bordering on the new constitutions will be going against the people of Kenya who voted for the new supreme law. The country should be united under the new order as from the time it will be promulgated by the President,” said Morris Odhiambo, leader of the Katiba sasa group.
The lobbyists distanced themselves from pledges made by the country’s three top political leaders that they would ensure amendments were factored into the new constitution upon its passing.
They said all sectors of the Kenyan society must now shift their focus to implementation of the new constitutional dispensation.
They said those who will try to subvert the will of the people, put roadblocks in enactment of legislation to effect the new constitution and continue to distort the contents of the constitution must be stopped and the will of the people respected.
The leaders said only people of integrity and competent ones should be appointed in various institutions to implement the constitution.
The Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee and the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution are to be established within 90 days.
“ The leaders who promised changes soon after the passing of the new constitution were politicking and they should face the wrath of the electorate when elections come but we as ordinary Kenyans will not allow any amendments to a new constitution” said Tom Kagwe.
Suba Churchill said “ how do we start thinking of amendments even before we live the new constitution. What are we going to amend? Those distortions, which are not in the new constitution?
The group while addressing a press conference called on the President to let the new law take effect and never be part of those who will be pushing for changes.
“In case of any changes, lets respect the new law by asking those who strongly feel they have changes they want effected, follow the guidelines as spelt out in the new constitution” said Odhiambo.
The civil society leaders who chanted Katiba Mpya! Nguvu kwa Wakenya (New Constitution! Power to Kenyans) also called for the sacking of all the six cabinet ministers who campaigned against the proposed constitution saying they will not be entrusted with the implementation of laws they were opposed to.
“ They will obviously sabotage the new se5t of laws to make it appear that they were genuine in opposing the constitution. They should be fired,” said Odhiambo.
Three permanent secretaries were also said to have campaigned against the new constitution.
All MPs and ministers are among public officials expected to take fresh oath office by declaring allegiance to the new constitution.
However other speakers at the press briefing were of the view that the NO Ministers should be left free t decided whether they were ready to continue serving under the new law or resign on principals.
‘We should leave it to the concerned leaders to decide on whether they want to take an oath of allegiance to the new constitution or not. Depending on what happens on that day when the ministers and all civil servants take that big oath, those who will not then automatically will be left aside,” said Kagwe.
The civil societies demanded for a full implementation of the new constitution, faithful enactment of new laws to give effect to the constitution, faithful formation of different bodies charged with implementation of the constitution and systematic and continuous civic education to further understanding of the constitution among the citizens.
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