A press statement from the International Centre for Policy and Conflict has urged the two sides of Kenya’s political establishment to thaw theirÂ political hardline stances and Â embrace inclusive National Consensus:
The presser reads:
There is emerging consensus and calls to all political sides in Kenya to refrain from acts that would undermine efforts to achieve a national consensus for realizing the fruits of progressive constitutional order and the implementation of reforms, which are key to the long-term stability of the county.
The government side and political opposition in Kenya must acknowledge that growing democracy is the acceptance that democracy involves constructive all-inclusive dialogue.
Competitive policy based politics is good sign of healthy democracy. It steer the country away from political, economic and social instability and towards security, greater prosperity and genuine democratic governance.
Kenya is in critical situation of trying to consolidate fragile transitional phase of the country, addressing long-standing challenges confronting the country, and re-evaluating the roles and functions of nascent Constitution social institutions that form the basis of securing political and social stability of the country.
The Constitution of Kenya 2010 did establish a new era of democratic, ethical and transparent leadership with obligation to promote democratic co-existence, societal tolerance of diversity and reinvigorating trust in public institutionsâ€™ capacity to deliver public good and social repair.
Further, Constitution 2010 addresses itself to the governance malpractices of the past. However, political corruption and disregard of rule of law still remains serious barrier to implementing and enforcing the Constitution. This is stalling people of Kenya dreams and aspirations realization.
It is important for both government side and the political opposition to recognize and understand that the future of democratic secure Kenya as a strong cohesive country depends on respecting and upholding the Constitution.
Both political sides need to acknowledge that building national cohesion and functional democratic institutions is a democratic progressive process requiring sobriety and broad based political consensus.
Political leadership has responsibility of genuinely propagating tolerance and nurturing culture of diversity of human freedoms and rights where every Kenyan has equal chance to realize potential and be protected by the law fairly and equally.
Political threats and stubbornness are signs of the recklessness and irresponsibility on both sides of the political leadership. Political intransigence will not move the country forward in the right direction.
All political sides should immediately refrain from intimidation or provocative actions and find a way forward toward de-escalation of political hard-line positions, which is causing fear and anxiety.
Concerned political parties must appreciate that the deep fragility of the country abhors heightened tensions. Political leadership should know that even small sparks could ignite larger flames of unintended consequences.
After promulgating the progressive Constitution in 2010, it is time and necessary for the collective countryâ€™s leadership across the divide and the multi-stakeholders be involved to invest in building sustainable peace and security in the country; securing policies that promote and support economic justice and equity; and sustaining agenda of rooting democracy, human rights and rule of law.
Multistakeholdersâ€™ Institutionalized political consensus dialogue with clear roadmap of sustainability, implementation and accountability would see that country address the following key sticky issues:
I. Enforcement of the governance accountability and transparency as provided in the Constitution. This will include: a) raising the bar on the performance, integrity, and credibility state institutions as stipulated in the Constitution; b) set firm rule based governance system to effectively tackle the high-level corruption in government and wastage of public resources; c)addressing the exclusivist policy of appointments to civil service and security infrastructure; and d) resolving the persistence manipulation and capture of constitutional independent institutions and offices through threats and deprivation of funds by the political state.
II. Agree on solid implementation strategy of major overhaul, restructuring and transforming of broken dysfunctional and compromised security system organs i.e. national Intelligence Service, National Police Service and Kenya Defense forces. In accordance with Constitution, security organs should be professional rights respecting institutions of governance that secure the country and safety of the people and protect constitutional democracy with effective civilian oversight and supervision. Also agreeing on decentralization process of the National Police Service to establish effective County based policing and law enforcement system and re-engineering the Directorate of Criminal Investigations.
III. Deepening, resourcing and consolidating devolved system of governance. This includes: i) restructuring national governance and administrative agencies including provincial administration, parastatals and corporations to accord with and respect devolution; ii)redefining yardstick of sharing revenue/financial resources between national and county governments; iii)Set proper legal and policy framework governing consolidation and harmonization of many devolved funds to the County; and iv) establish mechanisms of developing the capacity and facilities of devolved units and institutions to delivery their mandate effectively and efficiently with accountability to the people and the law.
IV. Redefining and formulating new socio-economic policy that reflect and is in accordance with new constitutional dispensation paradigm and global changes in order to effectively address: a) the deteriorating social and economic conditions of the country; b) unfavourable economic competitiveness environment of the country; c) building sustainable secure environment friendly livelihoods of the people; and d) tackling inequality.
V. Addressing comprehensively the land reforms and accessibility of land resources fairly by all citizens. This will also involve agreeing on strategy of transforming the rural agricultural economy and building sustainable land tenure system as enshrined in the Constitution including strengthening the National Land Commission.
VI. Bringing major changes to the countryâ€™s education and healthcare systems to address long standing imbalances, modern technology, competitiveness, high quality, accessibility and affordability with both bottom and top approaches.
VII. Agreeing and designing well-grounded foresight foreign policy that advances countryâ€™s strategic trade, economic and security interests regionally and globally.
VIII. Agreeing on the countryâ€™s policy structural shifts necessary to realize the conditions for gender equality and the fulfillment of human rights as set in the Constitution.