Eminent persons push for constitution change

Lawyer Patrick Lumumba flanked by The Green Thinking Action Party leader Isaac Kalua at Karen Greens Estate as they called on the revisoon of the 2010 constitution. [Edward Kiplimo, Standard]

A group of eminent persons are proposing amendments to the Constitution that was promulgated in 2010.

Under the auspices of Promoters of Popular Initiative, the group led by constitutional lawyer PLO Lumumba and The Green Thinking Action Party boss Isaac Kalua said it was time for the constitution to be revised. 

In a joint presser, they said, although the constitution has played a great role in shaping the country in the past 13 years, there is need to improve it.

“We are here to make it known to Kenyans that we ought to engage in a conversation that is anticipated by the constitution under article 257 to commence a popular initiative with a view to having our constitution amended,” said Lumumba.

According to the senior counsel, the fight against corruption has been undermined, necessitating constitutional amendments. 

“We believe through our preliminary examination that there are certain aspects of the constitution that need to be re-examined and issues dealing with integrity and ethics deserve re-examination,” said Lumumba.

He said the rights and representation of marginalised groups have been assumed as rights for women at the expense of all the groups, including indigenous communities.

“We believe that we should look at marginalised communities, do they think and feel that they are part of Kenya? We believe that this is the time to relook at the question of representation once again,” said Lumumba.

He also faulted the Legislature, saying that there are several issues that need to be tabled regarding the government’s move to create additional offices that are unconstitutional.

 “We have seen the creation of the prime cabinet secretary and chief administrative secretary’s offices that are not directly mentioned in the constitution and we are saying the time is now to check on the Executive architecture and satisfy ourselves that it can work within our means,” said Lumumba.

Additionally, according to Lumumba, devolution has had a great impact but there are certain aspects which have undermined its prosperity, and thus need to be improved.

Further, said Lumumba, the constitution should re-align to what is happening in East Africa region and the continent.

Kalua said the initiative will also look into issues arising from elections and seek to address the notion of winner-takes-it-all.