Monday, August 30, 2010

Sub-Saharan African: Kenya adopts a new constitution after two decades of struggle

Prime Minister Raila Odinga accepts the new oath of office.
The new Kenyan constitution was promulgated on Friday in Uhuru park in Nairobi. The east African country has been working to adopt a new governing document since 1990, when opposition groups began protesting across the country in support of a multi-party political system.

In the two decades that followed, Kenyans have ridden a roller coaster of false starts and ethnic tension, a relatively uncommon occurrence in Kenya, which prides itself on being a bulwark of stability in a region prone to conflict.

After the 2007 presidential elections, riddled with allegations of vote-rigging and aggression between communities, a peace deal was signed which led to a determination and resolve to finally institute change. It was for this reason that millions of Kenyans stood in line for hours to vote for the new constitution earlier this month. Sixty of the nation's two-hundred ten constituencies had turnout numbers greater than eighty percent.

The constitution itself seems worthy of high hopes. It could ensure the nation's survival long-term by reforming a political establishment prone to corrupt and abusive governance and the skewed distribution of resources and land.

The challenge now facing Kenyans is to continue to hold their leaders accountable, ensuring a faithful implementation of the document they so deserve.


No comments:

Post a Comment

What do you think? Comment here.