We aren’t out of the woods until we get a new Constitution

Politics in Kenya always looks set on retrogression, whenever it makes steps forward. In African countries like Kenya, power is very sweet.

If you have it, you have everything for yourself, your family, your clan and tribe, not forgetting the many leeches and hoodlums who have to be kept happy as they intimidate your political opponents.

From the word go, it looked impossible to have a lean Cabinet following the disputed 2007 presidential election results. The crises which followed were quite unexpected, even by Kenyan standards.

The history of Kenya is replete with political and economic betrayal, a common feature in Africa and all poor countries of the world. We are just lucky that, unlike our many African neighbours, we never said enough is enough; otherwise it would have been disastrous.

The problem in governing Kenya squarely lies with tribalism, a shakily united nation, greed, external interests, poverty, and skewed allocation of resources.

Let it be clear that we are in for difficult and challenging political moments. The division between two major political groups in Kenya (all coalescing around tribes) will remain potentially explosive.

Unless we come up with systems which guarantee equity in sharing of resources, Kenya will always be on perilous political governance. And unless the proposed coalition government is broadly constituted and accepted across the country, there is no guarantee we will have peace in the foreseeable future. The circumstances prevailing in Kenya today are easily eruptive. We need to forestall intimidating political dispensations which are essentially built on weak and unsustainable edifices.

Before the year is over, we require no less than an imaginative, intelligent and broadly accepted constitution. Otherwise we are not out of the woods yet.

Harrison M. Ikunda,

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