• Kenya’s next biggest agenda is Constitution implementation, delivering effective devolution for inclusive development.
• Our Constitution is among the most progressive in the world as it guarantees basic human rights and gives citizens enormous powers to determine how they are governed.
Kenya has a very bright future. It is country with very industrious, optimistic and innovative people. They can differ but always find common ground for their mutual interest.
Its future is devolution, with strong inclusive local economy and private sector. After multiparty and new constitution struggles, Kenya’s next biggest agenda is Constitution implementation, delivering effective devolution for inclusive development, guaranteeing economic security and quality service for all Kenyans, and equity. Counties are the new factories and frontiers of wealth, job creation, and inclusive economic growth. This is the future of Kenya.
What does the country need to go there now?
One is to defend and protect the 2010 Constitution 2010 and its fundamental gains. The Constitution is among the most progressive in the world as it guarantees basic human rights and gives citizens enormous powers to determine how they are governed.
It addresses two fundamentally critical pillars that anchor development: Equitable distribution and use of political power and land and natural resources. The two pillars are the basis of survival, promise of democracy, equity, and prosperity.
The second step is to convene a national conference for Covid-19 economy recovery. The pandemic and measures taken to address its spread have hit the country. The pre-existing fiscal position was precarious.
The government must thus ensure that whatever action it takes does not harm long-run fiscal sustainability. National and county governments should develop an economic recovery strategy in response to Covid-19 realities.
It must completely overhaul the current Third Medium Term 2018-22 as Covid-19 devastating effects have made it irrelevant and redundant.
The harsh economic realities make it absolutely necessary to overhaul the MTP and the this year’s budget to reflect and align with the reality of Covid-19 and enormous challenges the country faces.
The budget ought to have been informed by realities of the need to increase money allocated to Covid-19 response, collapse in economic activity and economy contraction, budget deficit and large decline in tax revenue collection and huge debt servicing.
It is impossible to return the economy and lives of Kenyans to where they were before Covid-19. Kenya needs to forge new economic and fiscal social compact. This will require intensive participation and consultation among Kenyans, business, the two levels of the government and civil society.
Third step is guaranteeing 2022 General Election truly reflects the sovereign will of the people, resulting in a peaceful transition of power. How? Explanation:
According to the Supreme Court’s ruling on September 20, 2017: “Elections are the surest way through which the people express their sovereignty. Our Constitution is founded upon the immutable principle of the sovereign will of the people.”
“ Therefore, whether it be about numbers, whether it be about laws, whether it be about processes, an election must at the end of the day, be a true reflection of the will of the people, as decreed by the Constitution, through its hallowed principles of transparency, credibility, verifiability, accountability, accuracy and efficiency.”
Preceding the 2017 General Election, judges in the High Court and the Court of Appeal made landmark rulings on election management as stipulated in the Constitution.
However, the rulings were never implemented by the IEBC over what they said was of lack of sufficient time to. The judges found that the way to cure the mischief of doctoring results is through electronic relay from the polling centres to a secured portal set by IEBC and upholding Article 138 of the Constitution that election’s results at the polling station are final.
According to the courts, IEBC as an institution is distinct from its chairman, ruling that the commission exercises its powers through the returning officers who are entrusted to call the election results.
There is no doubt that Kenyans did not intend to concentrate the powers on one person, the chairman.
IEBC should be reformed to restore public confidence, credibility and integrity. The problem is not the Constitution. It how the IEBC Act and recruitment of the personnel is designed, allowing gross political interference.
There is need to retain the IEBC in line with Article 88 of the Constitution but it must be fully transformed to guarantee its structural, operational, professional and funding autonomy that can withstand the test of time.