Pact threatened by naysayers
4 months ago, 20 Mar 06:17
On March 9, President Uhuru Kenyatta issued a joint statement to the nation outlining the framework for “Building Bridges to a New Kenyan Nation”. The President and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga highlighted the need for inclusivity and cohesiveness. Reading their mood and the reactions to the initiative, the most pressing issues for Kenyans are inclusivity, cohesiveness, reconciliation, and their assured welfare for social and economic posterity of the nation, as opposed to simplistic party politics. The mandate of the National Assembly under the Constitution lends itself to promoting inclusivity and cohesiveness of the nation. The National Assembly is charged with legislation, oversight and representation roles. It discharges this mandate by deliberating on and resolving issues of concern to the people, legislation, the budget process and overseeing the conduct of state officers and offices. Aware of its key role in implementing this noble initiative, the House on Wednesday unanimously adopted a resolution commending the President and Raila for providing leadership in promoting unity, peace and harmony in the country and committed itself to support and advance the aims and objectives of the initiative within its mandate. The resolution is a pointer to the role the House will play in the coming days as the finer details of the initiative are revealed. First, House will provide legislative support to the initiative. Though still in its formative stages, the concept and motivation behind the initiative as announced is well received and regarded by the MPs and the public. It is inevitable that the efforts towards fostering inclusivity and cohesiveness shall culminate in one or more laws. The assistance of the House will be key. A constitutional democracy such as ours behooves all parties, and especially those in power, to conduct public affairs and other matters that concern the citizenry in consultation with them and other elected leaders. Indeed, a democratic form of governance “emphasizes the logic and rationality of dialogue, debate, choice and consensus in the pursuit of the fulfillment of the needs of the citizenry and the primary functions of meeting the needs of the public”. It follows then that dialogue, debate, choice and consensus are essential prerequisites for successful nation building in a democracy. Of principal and immediate concern will be to ensure Kenyans coexist harmoniously, peaceably and do not resort to violence in the name of politics. It will also ensure this country does not remain divorced from the needs, interests and aspirations of her people, as a number of post-colonial states in Africa have been. To aid in the above, MPs can play a key role of peaceful campaigns, education and mobilisation particularly from the areas they hail from. This is an immense opportunity that MPs have always had — and perhaps rarely recognised — which is needed most at this point in time in our history. Undoubtedly, legislators wield huge influence in their constituencies.Third, in discharging its legislative function, the National Assembly can enact legislation to give effect to what may be agreed upon by the two ...
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