Trans Nzoia rights activists give opinions on constitutional change during Katiba Institute forum

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Katiba Institute director Prof. Yash Pal Ghai in Kitale
Katiba Institute director Prof. Yash Pal Ghai in Kitale

Rights activists in Trans Nzoia County have voiced their varying
opinions on the effectiveness of the 2010 Kenyan constitution in the
wake of a raging national debate on constitutional changes.

Some of the activists who addressed a forum organized by the Katiba
institute on the audit of the current constitution said the law is
perfect while others said some sections need to be amended. “The constitution is not the problem but rather the lack of commitment by
those charged with leadership to implement it. We can
have several constitutions but achieve minimal results,” said Mrs Eva
Nyamogo.

Those supporting amendments to the constitution said there is a need
to change some articles which have been overtaken by time to reflect
the demands of the current dispensation. “There is a need to trim executive powers of the president to enable bodies charged with various mandates under the constitution to effectively discharges their mandates,” said Trans Nzoia women caucus director Immaculate Shamala.

Defenders of devolution advocated for clear laws on issues pertaining the allocation of revenue to County governments to be in line with the devolved functions unlike the current scenario. “Devolution should have clear laws to defend its operations unlike the current scenario where they seem to be under the mercy of the national assembly and the presidency,” said the director of the improve families health consortium (IFACO) Mr. James Omaria.

Katiba Institute Director Prof. Yash Pal Ghai said the country needs to analyse all constitutional reform amendments without the interests of politicians at heart. “All proposals that have made with regard to the amendment of the constitution should be done in accordance with the interests of Kenyans and not politicians,” said Prof Ghai.

Women rights advocates also opposed any move aimed at scrapping
clauses geared towards affirmative action saying such moves will
amount to taking the country backwards.