No doubt. The overwhelmingly passing of the new constitution in Kenya can be termed as the rebirth of a new true Kenya that had nary existed. This, if anything, I believe, will bury the demons of tribalism, self seeking, land grabbing, dictatorship, corruption, irresponsibility and unaccountability that marred the history of Kenya.
Now that the new constitution has been promulgated, it remains to be seen when it comes to putting it to exercise. Kenya I used to know before the new one was but a loose amalgamation of tribes and other groups of interests, but not a nation though Kenyans used to believe they were a nation whilst they actually were not.
In totality, there has nary been a nation of Kenya but a country of Kenya. This needs the whole article to discuss. I, thus, will hang it hither and soldier on with the birth of the new constitution that surely will make a Kenyan nation for the first time in history.
The new constitution is not only an impetus for development and prosperity of Kenya but also the precedent for other nations in the region even in the continent. By attaining this very milestone, Kenyans, for yet another time, have led the world to a new world order based on mature and true democracy. I comfortably believe that other east African countries that are under the yoke of one-man- or one-party abracadabra such as Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, will borrow a leaf from Kenyans. It is time for kicking old constitutions out. They’re and they have nary been ours at all. Most of them were made in Lancaster house as proxy means of elongating British colonial rule. These constitutions created vampires that have exploited our countries to the bone. We need home-made-and- grown and progressive constitutions such as those of Kenya and South Africa.
I once noted that whilst some Kenyans, especially the “NO” camp and the clergy, were hoodwinking the majority that the new constitution was hogwash allowing abortion. In other countries in the region, their constitutions are nothing but a writ of a cabal of mediocre swindlers that can tamper with them when they deem fit. Now that the new dawn’s unfold and verily it is hither with us, let us forget our differences and build a new nation steered by our views and wishes. That a new baby is born, let us stand together to see to it that the light is shinning in its life as well as ours. Let us reconcile the country and forge ahead.
Against all odds, that Kenyans have raised to the occasion, we need to congratulate them on this leap forward as we borrow a leaf from them. I understand. Kenya has been the country in big crises thanks to be manned by thieves, killers and tyrants that were empowered by archaic constitution. Refer to the grisly killings that occurred soon after disputed 2007 elections and being under one tyrant for over two decades. I, so too, understand that Kenyans lost a lot of their rights, such as true freedom to economic well-being, land, peace, security, democracy and what not. Many Kenyans were killed and tortured under the former constitutions and their rights were pushed under the carpet. Refer to the assassination of Tom Mboya, Josiah Mwangi Kariuki, Robert Ouko and many more others. Refer to the infamous Nyayo house sacrilege that left many Kenyans dead or tortured.
By ushering the new constitution in, I am sure, the buried cases of grave violation of human rights will be unearthed and being dealt with accordingly, so as to give a reprieve and redress to the families of those that were butchered or in anyway affected by blood dripping former regimes. I am sure too. The land that was grabbed since Jomo Kenyatta, Daniel Moi and their cronies will be retaken and be redistributed the landless Kenyans. What’s more, vampiric corruption scandals such as Goldenberg, Anglo-Leasing and others will be dealt with transparently and accordingly. More so, those who authored post-elections killings will now be urgently dispatched to The Hague, so that another precedent can be set where Kenya leads others.
Though there won’t be a quick fix of the rust Kenya has gone through for decades, it is upon Kenyans to patiently and united start to put the whole goodies in the new constitution in practice. Moreover, the Kenyan referendum was regarded as something normal, it was not. It is only South Africa that once attempted and successfully did this. Other African countries are still in slumber. Tanzanians, just on the next door, need a new constitution so badly that they can recapture their mojo. Ugandans, just like Rwandans, are in dire need of the same. The constitutions of the mentioned countries are just mere documents that thievish rulers can manipulate as they deem fit, at any time they deem fit, for their personal gains.
Kenyans have created a constitution that frees them from all evils of the past as it guides them to the future. Shall this being emulated by other countries in the region, even the union of the region will be easier and possible to attain even tomorrow.
I must call upon the citizenry of the countries in the region to start agitating for new constitutions. They should fear nothing when it comes to repression. No ruler can now resort in archaic means of beating protesters thanks to the fear of being delivered to The Hague. This being the year of elections in Rwanda and Tanzania, the people there should get prepared to refuse to accept cooked results resulting from the charade known as elections. We have already seen how the just ended Rwandan elections were marred by killings and detention of opposition leaders and journalists. This proves beyond doubts that the said elections was not be free and fair by all standards. The era of one-party-cum-one-man show is over.
In Tanzania, Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) just like the National Resistance Movement (NRM) In Uganda, has always manipulated elections thanks to appointing a kitchen Electoral Commission. These three countries mentioned above need to have Independent Interim Electoral Commissions (IIECs) in place to facilitate the transition. On this, Kenya can offer expertise thanks to her experience.
To cut the story short, it should be noted and appreciated that what Kenyans voted for is actually not only their constitution but also ours in the region. For the precedent they set is second to none. Importantly, we must face this challenge and vote ourselves out of tyranny be it of one party of one man. Bravo Kenyans once again for showing and leading the way.
The worst thing that tarnished the promulgation of the new constitution is the presence of Sudanese killer- Omar Bashir. This indeed, either by mistakes or calculations, showed Kenyan rulers as improbable. Now this being the case, will they deliver the suspects of post-election killings to The Hague as they are required by the law? This is another tough home work for ICC and UN.
Nkwazi Mhango is a Tanzanian living in Canada. He writes regularly for “The African Executive” and also has a blog entitled “Free Thinking Unabii”. He is a regular contributor to AfroSpear.