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Artists and activists begin Kisumu-Nairobi walk to mark Constitution's anniversary

By Kevine Omollo | August 8th 2016 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

Members of the civil society march along the road in Nyamasaria yesterday. The group intends to walk from Kisumu to Nairobi ahead of celebrations to mark the Constitution’s sixth anniversary. [PHOTO: DENISH OCHIENG/ STANDARD]

KENYA: Some 70 artists and activists are on a three-week walk to Nairobi to mark the sixth anniversary of the promulgation of the Constitution.

The walk, christened ‘Ni Yetu’ (it’s ours), is aimed at instilling a sense of ownership and identity in Kenyan youth ahead of the celebration of six years since the Constitution came into force.

With youths and women said to be the most disadvantaged in the implementation of the Constitution, participants of the walk will point out the role of disadvantaged groups to ensure they get justice.

The walk was yesterday flagged off by Kisumu ICT Executive Michael Onyango and activists Njeri Kabeberi and Boniface Mwangi, who are leading the initiative. Mr Onyango said the county government had provided a camping site and sponsored the artists for their stay in Kisumu.

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“In Kisumu, we are glad to have been associated with this kind of event and we hope this will give us the push to review our performance in terms of Constitution implementation,” he said.

He added: “Since most of the laws we have in the county have to originate from the national government, as the executive we have been working with the assembly to ensure that the domestication of these laws are done within appropriate timelines so that Kisumu is at par in the constitutional implementation.”

He said this was part of celebrating Kenya’s spirit of resistance and resilience which led to the formulation of the new Constitution.

According to organisers, participants will walk 35km each day, with stops in major towns along the Kisumu-Nairobi road.

Mr Mwangi said there would be concerts at every stop, to be used as a rallying call for patriotic citizens to stand up and take ownership of the document.

“This is a noble course and the caravan of musicians, dancers, graffiti artists, painters, photographers and filmmakers will make stops at Awasi, Kericho, Nakuru and Naivasha, where they will put on a variety of small performances and discussion forums for community members,” he said.

He said upon arrival in Nairobi on August 27, the artists will perform in the ‘Hii Chapta Ni Yetu’ concert at Alliance Francaise.

“This date marks a significant milestone in Kenya’s history since it was the date that the Constitution was promulgated (in 2010) and holding the concert on this date symbolises an intention to reclaim ownership of this document that patriotic citizens fought and shed blood for,” he said.

Ms Kabeberi said even though the country has one of the best constitutions across the globe, its implementation had faced a lot of hurdles, a situation that has denied citizens its full value.

According to the constitutional activist, the two-third gender rule is one of the aspects that has been given a raw deal by all the three arms of the government.

“Both the Executive and the Legislature have ignored the gender rule,” said Kabeberi.

Ni Yetu 2010 constitution Boniface Mwangi
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