KENYA: Religious Leaders Raise Concerns On Implementation of Constitution

NAIROBI, SEPTEMBER 4, 2020 (CISA)-Religious leaders under the Dialogue Reference Group (DRG) have raised concerns regarding implementation of the constitution ten years after it was promulgated.

In a statement released August 26 as they commemorated ten years since the promulgation of the Constitution, they gave a score card highlighting achievements and pending work.

“Lack of civic education and weak inculcation of the constitution and Constitutionalism in the lives of Kenyans, has led to weak demand from citizens for fidelity of the constitution,” the statement read.

The leaders noted that though Kenyans embraced devolution as a means of reducing the overlordshipness of the central government, the Executive is clawing back on the gains.

“The oversight role of parliament has been severely eroded, reducing both houses to mere rubberstamps of the executive, while the Judiciary constantly claims that it is being intimidated,” the statement reads.

Noting that national values espoused in the constitution have not been integrated in the national life, they lamented that Kenyans continue to suffer from the effects of leadership that lacks ethics and integrity

“Constitutional commissions have largely underperformed with accusations that appointment to their boards are largely made to reward political party cohorts which reduces their commitment to mandates of the bodies. Elections are still divisive, violent expensive and mostly lack transparency and fairness,” they said in the statement.

As remedy, they called on citizens to familiarize themselves with the constitution and actively engage in oversight of its implementation.

They also urged the Presidency and the Executive to deal decisively with corruption and resist the temptation to manipulate other arms of government, and to parliament to enact all outstanding laws required to ensure constitutionalism takes root and to the Judiciary to deal decisively with impunity, and weed out judicial officers who engage in corruption.

The statement was signed by the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) Hindu Council of Kenya, National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK), Evangelical Alliance of Kenya, Organization of African Instituted Churches, Seventh Day Adventist, Shia Asna Ashri Jamaat, and the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (SUPKEM).