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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Once a man and twice a child

I just lifted that title from Bob Marley's 'Real Situation', that song that goes something like "It seems like: total destruction the only solution, And there ain't no use: no one can stop them now. There ain't no use: no one can stop them now; Ain't no use: no one can stop them now; There ain't no use: no one can stop them now."

So, I am sorry I have been offline for the past two weeks. Blame it on AccessKenya. The guys took the monthly bill for April, but then they disconnected my guys saying that they had to pay for May, yet that was April? It reminded me of the Kenya Power and Lighting Company May power bills that are always inflated!

Anyway, on Tuesday I spent my day with the Committee of Experts at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre. I was astounded at how many people kept on saying 'YES' to the proposed new Constitution (is this damn thing still a draft?), yet they were basing their 'points' on the harmonised draft Constitution. The one published in November!

I took two of them through the Land Chapter at 40 (3) a and then 67 (2) e and that clause that defines public land as that which no heir can be identified through legal means. They saw that indeed here is a problem, especially if your dad, in a patriarchal society declines to include his name on your birth certificate.

If the good intentions of the document were actually there, this could just be what the doctor ordered. But I don't think it is. Worst case scenarios should teach people something. Does anybody know why Mr John Michuki is quiet?

Even after talking about the 'silence' over whether a person can vie for the presidency and the parliamentary seat at the same time, they were still telling me that that was in the proposed law. I gave it to them and asked them to show me, they couldn't! I hope a review of the National Assembly and Presidential Elections Act, the new one that is, will seal this loophole, I hope it can! And DON'T tell me that not everything can be in the Constitution! DON'T!

PS: Who inserted at 'national security' thing at 24(1) d? Government Printer? I doubt! The Attorney General, maybe! The spy agency that is the National Security Intelligence Service, well, blame them, they won't come out to issue a press statement. It will slide! But seriously, national security overrides all other freedoms. That's what patriotism is all about. No?

PS2: Isaac Ongiri of the Star and some other journalist formerly at Capital and now works for is it BBC?( I don't know) insist that the TV opinion polls are doctored because 'NO' gets 71 per cent and 'YES' gets 29 per cent. Well, those who watched the poll like my colleague, the punctilious Man Ngi say the question was 'objective'. But TV polls are grossly unscientific and that's a point that David Ochami of the Standard noted. So if viewers of a particular station will vote 'NO' is that a crime? What space do some people occupy? And does following the maxim 'If you don't know, vote 'NO'" make people enemies of Kenya? Not with civic education by the Committee of Experts.

Meanwhile, let's keep talking. Katiba ni yetu sote!

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