Why do we have some laws that we don't want?

Parliament Buildings, Nairobi. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

There are a number of sections of law that should be scrapped for being cosmetic appendages to our legal framework.

This is not because they are not important or useful but because we have refused to make them so. I start with the Political Parties Act that seem to have been brought to life in ODM's latest action to expel some members.

Without going into accusations against the said members, the sections are explicit about the need for party discipline and loyalty.

Article 14 part 5 states that, 'A person who, while being a member of a political party - (a) forms another political party; (b) joins in the formation of another political party; (c) joins another political party; (d) in any way or manner, publicly advocates for the formation of another political party; or (e) promotes the ideology, interests or policies of another political party; shall, notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (1) or the provisions of any other written law, be deemed to have defected.

In 2011, when MPs debated and passed this Act, you can clearly see what they intended to achieve; a culture of political discipline and maturity. As a result, if you no longer believe in an ideology and can no longer speak for them, you just shift and ask for a new mandate. However, I'm pessimistic about that happening.

The other article that remains cosmetic to our laws is 104 of the Constitution; on the right to recall an MP before the end of their term. This law is activated through Articles 45 to 48. The summary of the articles simply read 'Not possible'.

To recall an MP, there first must be a judgement of the High Court confirming grounds for recall. The petitioner is then required to obtain the court order and accompany it with a list of at least 30 per cent of registered voters who have signed to back up the petition.

After approval by IEBC and the Speaker, the petition must be subjected to a recall election where 50 per cent of registered voters must turn up and support it. Hectic and impossible. So the article is just moribund.

The third law is Chapter Six on Leadership and Integrity. If that article ever meant anything, any Kenyan can give you a name of a person that should not have touched any public office. While it is right to say everyone should be presumed innocent until proven guilty, some accusations simply bring dishonour to an office, which is a contravention of the article.

Some of those accusations usually involve public acts and speech which do not need a conviction to be proven. It is more unfortunate and tragic than it actually seems, a contravention of Chapter Six is more of qualification than a disqualification to public office.

I wonder why we have laws that we need but don't want.

-The writer is anchor at Radio Maisha.