As presumptuous as this might sound, I am actually glad the referendum over Kenya’s new constitution passed off without any drama. Having spent eight days in the country over the last two weeks, it was easy to sense a very real tension amongst people regarding the outcome of the vote. Add to that, hanging out with a good friend, who was quite heavily invested in the process and the politics in Kenya.
So its good news that the vote was peaceful. Its even better to to hear something like this –
“[The] majority had their way, we had our say,” said Ruto (who had previously headed the NO campaign), admitting defeat. “Now that Kenyans have endorsed that we pass, we are now proposing immediate consultations. We want to be part of taking Kenya to the future.”
While issues such as dubious land deals and religious sentiments have seen fierce public debates, one of the most exciting pieces for me is the demarcation of counties, with elected governments and assemblies, supported by a fiscal outlay of at least 15% of the national government revenue. Here is a full draft of the constitution.
There is also quite a comprehensive bill of rights for citizens; reservation of women in the Parliament; and a cap on the number size of the executive (drawn from outside the legislature, like in the US). Exciting times ahead for Kenya…