This Saturday on the 27th of August,how many Kenyans will be popping bottles of champagne and celebrating one year since we passed the new Constitution?Few if any and you know why,because nothing much has changed.
Except for the fact that we have a new CJ,more judges were sworn in after going through a very open vetting process and that they finally get rid of the hideous wigs and cloaks they had to wear while in session,everything else remains as it was before August 27th 2010.
Things like the way we run our politics remain the same.And with an election next year,we are carrying on like we have done in the past ,basing our politics on personalities,tribal affiliations and nothing else.
How many of us have referred to the constitution in the run up to the general election?
Much as we may talk about the benefits of the new constitution i think we need to focus on the young Kenyans who still cannot vote and are in school because i think that is where the future of this country lies.
Teaching them about the Bill of making it part of the their studies will go along way in ensuring that the next generation of Kenyans knows exactly what their parents and grand parents voted in-a break from the past!
We should not wait for the government to start civic education ,as parents it should start in our homes.We could start with the easy stuff like the rights and fundamental freedoms they have as Kenyans and that are enshrined in the constitution.
The right to life for example, that is an easy one,that we are all equal before the law and that all women and men have the right to equal treatment and opportunities in political,economic and cultural spheres.
Moving on would be that, no Kenyan deserves discrimination on any basis whatsoever whether because of their sex,race,color,tribe,marital status,religion,conscience,belief or dress code.
Add to that the rights on freedom of expression so long as they do not include propaganda for war,or advocacy for hatred that constitutes ethnic incitement or is based on any form of discrimination.And that in exercising this freedom of expression the rights and reputations of others should be respected.
Too often we have had our politicians cloud our minds with tribal vitriol and it seems at least for now Kenyans have accepted their charades as a way of life.
Yet this need not be so.
We can start changing the fortunes of our children by preaching to them the good news the constitution brings .That irrespective of their ethnic origins or gender they each have an equal stake in this country of 582,650 square kilometers.
Only in this way will we ensure that we are grooming future Kenyans free of the tribal bag loads their parents and grand parents have carried,yet make them proud of their ethnic diversity.
It will also ensure that we are grooming future leaders who will be focused on discussing issues and not tribal alliances,who will put the issues of all Kenyans before those of their tribes.
Catching Kenyans while they are young will be the best way to ensure these national values are part of the fabric of society.Can you imagine the ripple effect this will have in lets say 100 years?
Isn’t it a beautiful thing that we are seeing more and more Kenyans marrying across tribal lines even racial lines?that can be nothing but good news because soon we will not need to watch over what our politicians or public office holders say or do just so they do not spread tribal bigotry or loot public funds.We shall have thrown off these “monkeys” of tribalism and corruption that have clung to our backs since independence and we can march on to a brighter future.