Lobby group kicks off new quest for radical Constitution amendments
Operation Linda Ugatuzi, a rights lobby, yesterday launched a signature collection drive for a proposed constitutional amendment bill.
Speaking at Bomas of Kenya in Nairobi, political strategist Fred Ogola said the 2010 Constitution lacks an enforcement mechanism for social and economic rights such as the right to food and water and sanctions for violations of national values.
“The Constitution offers no way to enforce national values. We should prosecute those who do not uphold national values. Why should the Constitution promise you rights and you don’t get them? We are amending it because the way it is written, it cannot be enforced,” Ogola said.
He said that unlike the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI), the new process was people-driven and is not funded by taxpayers’ money.
“It has always been politicians proposing amendments to the Constitution a few months before elections as a means to seek public office. We are not seeking public office,” he said.
The 30-clause bill touches on accountability, public finance, devolution, leadership and integrity, youth and persons living with disability, and representation and proposes far-reaching amendments to the structure of government.
Key among the proposals is to bar outgoing governors from running for Senate immediately after the expiry of their terms and minimum academic qualifications for members of the National Assembly.
The bill also seeks to introduce a clause prescribing a five-year waiting period for an outgoing deputy president seeking to run for president.