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Grass roots Kenyans encouraged to embrace new constitution

Summary & Comment: Bunge la Mwananchi Central Rift issues this press statement to encourage grass root Kenyans to move on from the culture of blaming central government and to look forward to a devolved government with closer power and resources, encouraging them to monitor their local government and become watchdogs of the new constitution. DH

Author: Press Statement Date Written: 16 August 2010
Primary Category: Kenya Document Origin: Bunge la Mwananchi
Secondary Category: Eastern Region Source URL: http://www.bungelamwananchi.org/
Key Words: Kenya, constitution, grass roots, monitor,

African Charter Article #13: Every citizen shall have the right to participate freely in the government of their country and to equal access of public services . (Click for full text...)

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New constitution is about change of attitude not politics as usual


Central Rift grassroots

Bunge la Mwananchi Central Rift would like to thank all Kenyans especially the Central Rift  for coming out to exercise their democratic right through voting at referendum and more so for maintaining peace before and after the August 4th referendum on the new constitution. After the celebration by the YES side and the humble acceptance of defeat by the NO side, it is now time for ordinary Kenyans to focus and ask the important question on how some of the chapters, clauses of the new constitution will make their life different. We are aware that many grassroots Kenyans are looking forward to better life under the new constitutional order.

It is important to note that the new constitution, in chapter 1  Article 1 sub Article 1 states clearly that all sovereign power belongs to the people of Kenya and that sovereignty shall be exercised at the grassroots  in devolved government.

Bunge la Mwananchi being a platform for a grassroots people, we would like to remind all grassroots Kenyans, especially the Central Rift people that this constitution gives us a huge opportunity and responsibility that demands that all of us forget our differences and come together to realize our longtime dream of a better Kenya that cares for the small people also. In devolved government, county governments provide great avenue for grassroots Kenyans to take control of development by organizing themselves into a formidable force to demand improved delivery of government services.

All of us at the grassroots must realize we are moving from the culture of blaming the central government for lack of services or poor welfare system. Devolved government is bringing power and resources to a walking distance and therefore we must be ready to  demand to feel, see and taste the devolved government. The constitutional promise of giving county government 15%  of  annual revenue  collected by the  national government means that the 47 counties shall each have about 3 billion shillings. That promise announces good news that county government shall be the first place for youth to look for jobs, basic rights such as roads, water and hospitals shall be implemented by people we know and can go where they are to demand government goods and services.

We must also remember that the 15% is on top of our usual CDF 2.5% and 5% LATF. This is good money that we must remain vigilant against being stolen by devolved corrupt cartels.

We are also concerned that there are people still discussing amendments instead of implementation 10 days after Kenyans overwhelmingly made decision to adopt the new constitution. Anyone entertaining amendments before we taste the new constitution as it was passed does not mean well and should be ignored. We are aware that grassroots Kenyans even those who voted “No” are coming to the realization of how polarized campaigns were and how lies was peddled instead of truth on the constitution. As they realize the truth one by one they are all beginning to say “YES” to the new constitutional order.

We urge grassroots Kenyan across the country to move on from referendum competition and start developing criteria and a marking scheme that will help in electing Senators, Governors, Ward representatives among other managers of the counties. We want to inform Kenyans especially electorates of Central Rift that Bunge la Mwananchi will soon avail its campaign on indentifying good leaders that can deliver the new Kenya as captured in the new constitution. The campaign will be about stopping to give leadership positions in the region and the country to the highest bidders but to people who show leadership qualities and credentials and are reform minded.

Finally, Bunge La Mwananchi Central Rift, are going to do the following to keep the reform agenda on track:

  1. We are going to enhance post referendum civic education on the new constitution during our regular public forums called “Vikao Mashinani”
  2. We urge Kenyans to join us in continuing to read so as to become informed watchdogs of the new constitution.
  3. We are going to monitor the implementation process to make sure the letter and the spirit of the new constitution is fully captured. We shall not entertain politicians cutting deals to sabotage our sovereignty.
  4. We are going to provide platforms and forums where wananchi will monitor engage and social audit duty bearers with objective of making sure they adhere to leadership and integrity as captured in chapter six in the new constitution.

The new constitution is about change of attitude on everything and it cannot be politics as usual. God bless Kenya !

Editors' Note:
Bunge La Mwananchi Central Rift operates and works with its networks in the following constituencies: Nakuru town, Subukia, Naivasha, Molo, Kuresoi, and Rongai

Signed on behalf of Bunge La Mwananchi Central Rift
Joseph Omondi
Central Rift Coordinator
0727 410 812

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