Politicians should be called to order when they abuse the law

Democracy was premised on one default presumption, that the stakeholders, most resoundingly the led and the leaders, understand what they intend to reap of it.

One would suppose, that while we can speculate on the various intentions, humanity sought guided coexistence in which at the behest of self-given laws, a people would live in harmony and govern themselves within the principles of democracy.

Our forbearers settled on representative democracy, one that we’ve toiled in sweat and blood to cement over the years through various constitutional reforms.

Successive regimes have moved from one constitutional moment to the other and every time we did, we bettered our Katiba. The betterment has addressed social, economic and political spectra of our motherland, enshrining within it a Bill of Rights that speak to protection of fundamental rights and freedoms.

Heavily lauded for leading the park of constitutional reforms was a declaration by the US in 1776 in which they held one truth to be self-evident, that all men are born equal and that they’re endowed with their creator with certain inalienable rights and among them are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

What should boggle the mind of every peace-loving Kenyan is the disintegration, exclusion and ethnic segmentation that has clouded the political space in the previous weeks with detrimental sentiments from Migori Senator Eddy Oketch and Uasin Gishu Governor Jonathan Bii.

The Migori Senator attempted to advocate for segmentation of regions to reflect the mapping of Blue and Red states in the US.

He sought to mark Nyanza as an ODM zone, declaring zero presence of other political parties. Governor Bii moved to suggest that other ethnicities were not welcome to take up jobs in the county. These expressions contravene the Bill of rights.

There was an attempt by Busia Senator to woo the nation into considering a federal government and introduction of an electoral college. But the troubles of our nation is not hardware; we have good laws. The problem is in our software; our unwillingness to live up to what we have on paper. And on this, our politicians need to be called to order.  

The greatest sustainer of the US establishment is the fact that the leading two political parties have been institutionalised and are bigger than individuals. Their existence is pegged on clear ideological differences unlike our own that are built around ethnic identities with allotted ethnic lords.

Besides the US, take a look at Tanzania’s Chama Cha Mapinduzi and South Africa’s African National Congress. The two parties did not obscure with the exit of Mwalimu Julius Nyerere and Nelson Mandela.

But at home, where is KANU after President Moi? PNU after Kibaki? Jubilee after Uhuru? You can speculate where ODM will be should former PM Raila Odinga exit the political scene. Our political party’s establishment framework yearns for structural shape up. The debate about us having a constitution without the spirit of constitutionalism is one that never fades.

-The writer is a PhD candidate in leadership and governance

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