By PETER OPIYO and PPS
The US-based National Democratic Institute has assured the two principals of support for the implementation of the new Constitution.
NDI Chairperson and former US Secretary of State, Ms Madeleine Albright, met President Kibaki and PM Raila Odinga separately, and assured them of continued support.
At a meeting with Kibaki and VP Kalonzo Musyoka at Harambee House on Wednesday, Albright said NDI was happy with the passage of the new Constitution and that NDI is ready to support its implementation.
"The Kenyan people should continue taking an interest in the implementation of the Constitution, in order to protect the public sense of ownership of the Constitution. We stand ready to support the people of Kenya in this journey of reform," said Albright.
Kibaki said the government is committed to passing consequential legislation to activate the new Constitution.
"We are working well as a Government and are mobilizing members of parliament to urgently pass the new laws, because we are fully aware that Kenyans have great expectations on the new Constitution that they overwhelmingly voted for," said Kibaki.
And speaking at a cocktail hosted for NDI by Raila, at the Hotel Intercontinental, Albright said Kenya is at a critical stage that important decisions will have to be made and that the international community will not just sit and watch.
"Important decisions will have to be made and Kenyans will have to make them with the help of the international community. We will continue to help without being intrusive," she said.
Raila said the task ahead is enormous and the public expectation so high, but expressed optimism that Kenyans will succeed.
"MPs have a challenge to anchor this Constitution. We are confident Kenyans are equal to the task ahead," said Raila.
He said an opportunity has now arisen and Kenyans must seize it to bury tribalism and negative ethnicity. The PM and Medical Services Minister Anyang’ Nyong’o praised NDI for actively playing a role in the democratization process of Kenya.
Kalonzo said Parliament is ready to enact the 50 pieces of legislation required to activate the new Constitution.
"We know what needs to be done. We are aware of the great expectations of the Kenyan people. I believe that our parliament is equal to the task of engaging in some of the most intense legislative agenda in our country’s history," Kalonzo said.
NDI Vice Chairperson and former US Senate majority leader, Mr Tom Daschle and NDI board of directors, accompanied Albright.
Passed in time
Kibaki said the government would mobilize MPs to ensure that the consequential legislation is passed in time.
"We are working well as a Government and are mobilizing members of parliament to urgently pass the new laws, because we are fully aware that Kenyans have great expectations on the new constitution that they overwhelmingly voted for," said Kibaki.
The President noted that the constitution offered the country a great chance at entrenching far reaching reforms, and there was need to continue educating the public on their role and that of the government under the new structures in the new Constitution.