In Summary
  • The statement, they say, has compromised the independence, professionalism, and power of crucial public institutions.

  • They said this has eroded the basis of implementing the principle of popular sovereignty, the enforcement of citizen’s rights, and provision of peaceful means of resolving electoral disputes. 

  • They said Kenya needs a common vision and programme for a united, democratic, multi-ethnic, non-sexist and shared prosperity country.

Three lobbies have poked holes in the statement issued on March 9, 2018 made by President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga.

International Centre for Policy and Conflict (ICPC), Right2Know Initiative and Uhaki Dialogue Group say the ‘handshake declaration’ between the two leaders failed to acknowledge the fact that several key provisions of the Constitution that should develop democracy, remain diluted and unimplemented.

This, they say, has compromised the independence, professionalism, and power of crucial public institutions. They said this has eroded the basis and mechanisms of implementing the principle of popular sovereignty, the enforcement of citizen’s rights, and provision of peaceful means of resolving electoral disputes. 

“We note that institutions established by the Constitution central to the exercise of democracy continue to be weakened, lack of transparency and suffer from low credibility. Thereby addressing Kenyans’ demands is in effect largely inefficient and hence deep-seated social problems persist despite the rhetoric of economic growth,” said Ndung’u Wainaina, the executive director of ICPC said in a statement.

ALIENATED

He noted that large segments of the citizenry remain alienated from decision-making and the expectation that democracy would improve material conditions by redistributing power and resources remain largely unfulfilled, and hence their persistent economic marginalisation and discrimination.

He further pointed out that many systems continue to work according to old social and political arrangements and rules centred on exclusion and control, favouring the interests of a small clique of elites.

Mr Wainaina cites the concluded devolution conference in Kakamega as having grossly failed in addressing restructuring, reordering and realigning national government ministries, departments and agencies with respect to devolution.

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