Will our just elected, 10th parliament make Kenya a pace-setting center for a working democracy?
Given that ODM which promised economic federalism and PNU which pledged national unity, have made a deal, to work the deal they now need to merge their manifestos to form a federated national government. This
is what Americans did under their fourth president James Madison.
President Madison, believed that to permanently prevent recurrence of
divisive politics, America needed both a strong central government and
a strong federal government. Together with his predecessor Thomas
Jefferson, Madison formed the Democratic-Republican Party in 1791.
Orange County, Virginia, is home to James Madison, who was not only
the fourth president of the United States of America, 1809-1812, but
also the father of the American Constitution and The Bill of Rights.
Madison made major contributions to the ratification of the American
constitution by writing together with Alexander Hamilton and John Jay,
the Federalist Essays. These series of letters that were written to
newspapers in favor of the states ratifying the new constitution are
even today providing unequaled interpretation of the federated
national government of USA.
It took Madison's essays for Americans to accept that federalism plus
nationalism equals a federated national government structure that has
worked well for them for more than two centuries.
It is wise for the 10th parliament to introduce not only a federal
government for it is prone to cause further cracks, but a federated
national government. More than ever before, Kenya needs a strong
federal government with a strong central government structure. This
requires well defined division of power and resources between the
central government and the regions. At least constituency development fund can be increased to 20% of the annual revenue.
Are our legislators working on their federalist essays to hasten the
ratification of our own new constitution? Actually Kenya has been
ruled for over forty years by the severally amended Lancaster
constitution which has driven Kenyans into an election deadlock.
Just as Madison did, Kenyans highly expect the 10th parliament to
amicably study and resolve the inter-regional commercial problems.
This is to ensure that all regions are equitably developed.
President Madison framed the American Bill of Rights and formulated
the first revenue legislation that sanitized the socioeconomic life of
Americans. The 10th parliament had better borrow a leaf from that to
exorcise this country of the demons of Goldenberg, Anglo leasing,
Kroll and other possible scandals and abuses.
Madison is also credited for the development of the Republican or the
Jeffersonian party which has also passed the test of time for two
centuries. What is the life span of Dr.Kofi Annan's celebrated
political panacea to Kenya's impasse? It largely depends on whether or
not president Kibaki and honorable Raila shall keep their deal alive.
It should be remembered that failure to honor a single memorandum of
understanding shattered NARC coalition party within barely two years.
As our legislators debate they must never miss to realize that driving
a car is optional, but once you have chosen the option, driving on the
left hand side of the road, here in Kenya is no longer a good option.
You can still choose to drive on the right hand but you will pay fines
and cause grave accidents. We do not need other political accidents.
Subjecting the Comprehensive constitutional review to a referendum,
where a yes or no is the vote, is a recipe for another unnecessary and
time wasting impasse. In case a NO wins, we will not get a constitution again. Kenyans had spoken in the past and their views are still intact in some Yash Pall Ghai documents. A group of experts can grapple with the contentious issues and come up with a constitution that is fully global.
The new constitution should be nothing less than a document that, if followed to the letter, can earn this country an ISO certificate for being corruption free.
The notion that the solution to Kenya's problems should be a Kenyan
one, popular as it might be, misconstrues the fundamental nature of
globalization. Planning exclusively nationally is anarchy to the
global world. Kenya needs international friends for economic, social,
cultural and technological enrichment among other things. Ignorance of
this continues to retard some African countries like Zimbabwe.
Therefore our 10th house should stand up to become our true political messiah and the father of our fully federated national and fully global constitution.