PLO-led group pushes for Constitution amendment on 13th anniversary

NAIROBI, Kenya Aug 27 – Kenya on Sunday marked the 13th anniversary of the 2010 Constitution’s promulgation, with a renewed push for its reassessment.

A group of eminent persons led by constitutional lawyer PLO Lumumba, asserted that it was ripe for the Constitution to be re-evaluated.

The Constitution was adopted on August 27, 2010.

“The Constitution jealously and magnanimously guarantees us an audience to initiate amendments directly as a people through the popular initiative route,” Lumumba said.

By means of the popular initiative, the coalition has put forward seven areas that require amendment, with a primary focus on aspects related to leadership and integrity, national elections, the Legislature’s structure, and representation.

Additional areas encompass the arrangement of the National Executive, the framework of devolution, as well as independent commissions and offices.

“Yes we must have a constitutional moment and there is an opportunity to re-examine the Constitution,” Lumumba said.

He revealed that the team, consisting of four other individuals, intends to initiate a signature campaign in the near future. This campaign aims to activate the process of amending the seven designated sections of the Constitution.

The former head of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) emphasized that by commencing the signature drive, they will be asserting their natural rights to actively engage in pursuing a political agenda.

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The most recent endeavor to amend Kenya’s Constitution took the form of the unsuccessful Building Bridges Initiative (BBI), led by former President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition figure Azimio Leader Raila Odinga.

However, the Supreme Court delivered a significant setback to the process by determining that it wasn’t a popular initiative but rather an initiative originating from the Executive.

One of the key aims of the BBI initiative was to address the winner-takes-all approach in the country’s electoral cycle, which has often led to episodes of post-election violence.

Other attempts were set in motion by the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD), who introduced the Constitution of Kenya Amendment Bill 2015, commonly referred to as the Okoa Kenya Bill.

Furthermore, the Thirdway Alliance Party, under the leadership of Ekuru Aukot at the time, also endeavored to amend the Constitution with the Punguza Mzigo Constitution of Kenya Amendment Bill 2019.

However, this attempt faced rejection from County Assemblies and fell short of meeting the required threshold for approval.

If the Lumumba-led initiative materializes as planned, it would mark Kenya’s fourth endeavor to amend the 2010 Constitution.

The 2010 Constitution resulted from extensive reform efforts aimed at addressing historical challenges, fostering effective governance, and upholding the rights and freedoms of the populace.

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