Some MPS are in Naivasha to negotiate about the Harmonized constitution. According to some section of the Media the negotiations started on a positive note as they quickly agreed on the opening seven chapters, some of which had caused some controversy. The Parliamentary Select Committee on constitution agreed that references to ethnic groups and cultural diversity at the start of the document promoted tribalism and agreed to knock them out.
In the afternoon, it was agreed that the chapter on national values and culture should not be in the constitution.By 6pm, the MPs were having what was described as a “heated” debate on dual citizenship. The 26 members of the committee were all present by Monday afternoon, except Tourism minister Najib Balala.
Tuesday was a much tougher day because the MPs started discussions on the most delicate and contentious sections of the draft, including the Executive, which has divided politicians and Kenyans alike. There has been debate on whether there should be a prime minister sharing power with a president, or whether there should just be one powerful office checked by other institutions.
Also on the agenda on Tuesday are chapters on the Legislature, representation, the Judiciary and devolution, which will also spill over to Wednesday. The harmonized draft proposes a two-chamber parliament, two levels of devolution and far-reaching changes to the Judiciary.
If MPs reach an agreement on these chapters, the new constitution will be as good as written. The sessions of the five-day retreat are moderated by PSC chairman Mohammed Abdikadir. On Monday the MPs promised the country that they would leave the retreat on Friday with a firm agreement on all the issues which have divided the country.
This was the fifth PSC since 1992 to be given the task of delivering a new constitution to Kenyans and asked the members to break the jinx of failure. The team admitted the job was not easy. The PSC has the daunting task of bridging the contentious issues against the backdrop of political interests of the key political parties.
Other than the MPs at the retreat is a secretariat made up of parliamentary staff drawn from the research and legal departments of the House. The main political parties, ODM and PNU, also have members of their secretariat at the talks.
All Kenyans can hope for is that this won’t be money wasted on the retreat.
MY QUESTION BACK TO YOU DEAR PEOPLE-DO YOU THINK THE COMMITTEE WILL PUT OUR VIEWS IN THE NEW CONSTITUTION AND WILL IT DELIVER WITH VERY FEW DAYS LEFT?