Leta Siasa

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Mike Mills: 'It's End of the Road for Kenya's "New" Constitution

It's End of the road for Kenya's "New" Constitution:

By Mike Mills, KARA Founding CEO, Scotland, United Kingdom

Every edition of the KARA Newsletter is read and digested thus forming part of my appreciation of what is going on in Kenya. There were some statistics that I was once shown by Mr. Harvey Croze on countries achieving independence over the last 250 or so years. From memory, the bottom line was that they went downhill for the first 40 years before bottoming out and turning around - but it took at least another 30-40 years for them to claw back to where they were economically and socially when they achieved their independence. They then do a little better for a while as the line levels off.

We've done the 40 years so now we must bottom out and start the return journey - the bottoming out is the rocky part that we are going through now.


One of the important things that we need to recognize, as a country, is that we must take responsibility for ourselves. At some time in every country's history all (or some) of the people have been subjugated. I don't hear the Americans blaming Britain for their woes (they were a colony before their independence!) and I don't hear the British blaming the Romans ... , etc.! Lovely as it is to shirk our responsibility, at 42 years old we (Kenya) are now adults and should be behaving as such.

This is one of the axes I have to grind with the World Bank/IMF social globe - too many hand outs and too little accountability. The gain, naturally, is that these global organizations continue to subjugate the vulnerable countries of the world and maintain their colonizing influence. Ultimately, the only way forward is to take responsibility for ourselves and emulate the American evolvement, Japanese evolvement, German evolvement, Chinese evolvement etc. Until we change our culture to one of independence we will never move forward.

The past is just that. Over the years we have accumulated a vast amount of baggage. Our journey ahead only involves the future and we can make the decision to move forward at any instant in time and that instant will be the start of our new future. What is important, as we take this leap into the future, is that we carefully review our baggage and only choose to travel with the luggage that will be useful in our journey ahead. We can not yet afford to travel 1st class so our luggage should be little more than we can comfortably hand-carry ourselves.

End of Road

I am no longer in close enough touch to speak knowledgeably on the proposed constitution. My general thoughts on the whole process have been previously documented and published. We are now at the end of the road with, hopefully, only one further major expense ahead of us - the referendum.

I would like an assurance that, whatever constitution we end up with, it will be subject to unfettered input from the public and the 3 arms of government and that the judiciary will be free (security of tenure) to interpret the constitution into a "living document". This will ensure that our new(?) and imperfect constitution progressively represents the evolving society within which we all live.

With the two above, the subsequent practical development of such interpretation, we can look forward to a bright future. Should either element be found wanting then we will again be consigned to the depths of despair.