IN DEFENCE OF OUR CONSTITUTION OF KENYA, 2010 - THIRDWAY ALIANCE KENYA’S POSITION
Most recently, and following conclusion of the 2017 election, our Constitution of Kenya (CoK) has come under political attack as well as misrepresentation on what a party or an individual can do when pursuing a political issue. To that extent, Thirdway Alliance Kenya (TAKE) has received numerous calls from Kenyans asking about our perspective of the right position on two questions:
- The planned swearing in of yet another "president" by the NASA coalition, specifically the NRM wing, and whether that swearing in is constitutional. Does it offend our CoK 2010?
- Whether TAKE can play effective opposition without elected members. Who can claim to be lead opposition party or leader?
In summary, the above two questions have been asked because those asking them may not have understood our CoK 2010. TAKE has always promised to protect and enforce the implementation of our CoK as well as rule of law. If Kenyans would recall, protecting the CoK was one of our campaign pillars in the 2017 election and we promised to pursue this call beyond 2017 elections. Educating Kenyans on the right position on CoK is part of TAKE agenda. This is a call for all in Kenya pursuant to Article 3. To do this extent, TAKE offers the following right perspective on the two cited issues.
It is, therefore, our pride to shed more light than political heat to Kenyan on matters rule of law and the CoK. As a party, we shall never mislead Kenyans on the CoK for political or tribal expediency. We shall remain truthful and faithful to our CoK.
Swearing of yet another “president”
We have noted with concern that a section of the so-called NRM have threatened to swear-in Hon. Raila Odinga and Hon. Kalonzo Musyoka as parallel “president” and “deputy president” of the republic of Kenya respectively. They have also said they will nominate their own cabinet secretaries to form a parallel government.
They have argued that they are guided by Article 1 of the CoK, as they establish a parallel government. Therein lies an outright, deliberate and misleading interpretation of Article 1, probably for political expediency. Today, we would like to urge them to read the articles of our CoK 'mutatis mutandis' and STOP misleading the public further.
Article 3(2) clearly states that “Any attempt to establish a government otherwise than in compliance with this Constitution is unlawful”. This automatically makes it treasonable to form a parallel government in the republic of Kenya. If the swearing in is for a “president” of something else other than that of the republic of Kenya, I guess it may be within anyone’s fantasy to do so. However, since the intention has already been communicated to include the formation of a parallel government after the “swearing in”, then that is outrightly unlawful and offends our CoK.
Can TAKE claim role of opposition leader?
Kenyans would recall that TAKE conceded defeat in the repeat presidential poll. However, TAKE also promised Kenyans that it shall put President Kenyatta's government into proper check. We will do this while offering a non-violent opposition by, inter alia, pursuing a legislative agenda via Article 119 of the CoK. Some people have scoffed off at this idea without having understood the basis of our claim.
Those laughing off at the idea of TAKE playing opposition lead, are wrong that we cannot pursue any legislative agenda just because we have no members in any of Parliament. One does not have to be a member of parliament to participate in a legislative process.
Article 119 (1) directly provides as follows: “Every person has a right to petition Parliament to consider any matter within its authority, including to enact, amend or repeal any legislation”
In fact, since there is already claim and desire for two governments, someone has to play the lead opposition role. TAKE will not allow a lacuna to exist in our body polity.
Forming a shadow cabinet
To help TAKE pursue alternative leadership role as the opposition, we shall form a shadow cabinet as soon as President Kenyatta appoints his full cabinet. We have already received over 130 applications from the public who are interested in joining our Shadow cabinet mainly on volunteer basis. We still urge Kenyans to send their CVs to firstname.lastname@example.org. We are particularly encouraging women, youth and PLWDs to apply because we believe them to be the majority of Kenyans who must form the bulk of any government. We believe in inclusion of all Kenyans in matters governance.
Our job as the Kenyan opposition is well cut out and we are not interested in any power deals that will put our country into a political war path. We are only interested in playing the opposition role by offering alternative solutions to the daily problems affecting Kenyans. We believe that it is time for non-violent opposition in our country and any dialogue MUST be that which will involve the Mwananchi in solving his or her daily struggles. Our resolve as a party is to ensure all Kenyans are happy and live a comfortable life. We will not relent until this is achieved either by the government of the day or when we will eventually form the next responsive government. In the meantime, we are here to play meaningful and effective opposition to the government of President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Thirdway Alliance Kenya