Unity of purpose

There comes a time in the life of any nation when the people must unite for a common purpose. Indeed the maturity of any nation is measured by its ability to identify, negotiate and resolve differences, however intractable.

That time has come for our country.

We must shame those that resort to Pangas and violence to settle difference by showing superior intellectual capacity to engage in constructive dialogue that emphasizes points of commonality than division.

That is why we are happy that the executive and opposition will today sit down and dialogue over the contentious issue of the constitution making process.

As a country we face serious challenges in overcoming the economic, social political, administrative, technical and aesthetic handicaps that we face as a developing country. These challenges are best faced as a united and indivisible people, rather than disparate political groupings pulling in different directions.

Our leaders must hammer out a clear and unambiguous process in which this country will craft and enact a new constitution that will reflect the wishes, aspirations and democratic imperatives of our country.

This will serve as the second liberation of our country.

We should create for ourselves a resilient democracy in which constant reform will prevent  any form of citizen upheaval as has been the case in Ukraine  where citizens came on the street to demand change. Change, flexibility and accommodation should be inbuilt if our democracy will have strong pillars of Governance including the Judiciary.

Having attained independence in 1964, time has come for a constitution that truly speaks to the challenges, concerns and aspirations that have undermined our efforts towards creating a truly democratic, independent and representative dispensation.

The attainment of our multi party democracy status in 1991 was but a step towards the creating of a resilient, robust and enduring democracy. The constitutional changes effected then and in subsequent enactments were expedient for the purpose of consolidating and safeguarding the changes made in the second republic.

Time has come for a lasting document, informed by experiences of the last 50 years. We must codify and commit to law the collective experiences   that will support and strengthen our ability to negotiate political diversity without putting our democracy in peril.

Our constitution must be robust and resilient to withstand leadership styles to ensure that no leader or group of individuals can subvert and undermine tenets of democracy as enshrined in a comprehensive constitution as the one we have been crafting for ourselves.

Events of the last few weeks have clearly demonstrated that democracy is still superficial otherwise the debate of the constitution making process should have been more orderly, reasonable and well sequenced.

As it stands, there is a serious gulf of mistrust and lack of confidence between the executive and the rest of society as the latter has remained totally adamant in rejecting any semblance of a legal framework that would protect both the process and content of the new constitution.

This has been worrying as it seems to suggest that Government has engaged in the process in very bad faith.

The time has come when  the two sides can now sit down, share experiences and hopefully arrive at a compromise that will result in a constitution that will stand the test of time.