A New Constitution for Kenya!

The awes and the hope that is in the air is beyond palpable. I cannot beleieve I was here on this monumental day!

Gathii and I left Narok this morning at 4:30am because we knew they were shutting the roads of Nairobi at 8am and we needed to be in town before that or give it up for the day. I was sooooooooo worth the early morning start.

We passed Uhuru Park at 7:15am and hundreds of people were making their way to the park for the hopeful ceremony In the mist and rain.

My heart is happy for this country that there is a new beginning that started today!

Erna

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For more information on Kenya’s new constitution, feel free to read the article below:

A new Kenya was born today at the Uhuru Park grounds on a cold morning attended by a host of dignitaries and thousands of Kenyans. President Mwai Kibaki signed the document into law at the  ceremony, and fellow heads of state Rwandan President Paul Kagame, Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, Omar El-Bashir of Sudan, Sheikh Abeid Karume of Zanzibar, and Ahmed Abdallah Sambi of Comoros were in attendance.

The constitution was adopted just three weeks after it was overwhelmingly approved in a national referendum.  66.9 percent of the 9.1 million voters supported the document.Tens of thousands of Kenyans who thronged the park, as early as 4am, cheered on as President Kibaki penned ink on paper and took oath of Office to protect and respect the new constitution. The journey to a new a new constitution has lasted 20 years, in which lives have been lost and many tortured and detained without trial. The long and torturous journey reached its final destination at the historic Uhuru Park grounds.

The constitution is expected to bring significant changes, with political supporters hailing it as the blueprint to propel Kenya to greater heights in the East African region. The new document, was promulgated amid a 21-gun salutes and a grand parade mounted by the country’s armed forces. Guests were also entertained by traditional dancers. The new constitution will bring a more decentralised political system, transferring some of the powers from the executive to the county government, which replaces the provincial administration. Other raft of changes expected is the creation of the second chamber of parliament, the Senate, and a land commission to regulate land, one of the most important resources in the country. According to the latest opinion poll conducted by Synovate, 77 percent of Kenyans were optimistic of better times under the new constitution.  The difficult part of implementation officially begins today, after the swearing in of cabinet ministers and members of parliament. Parliament is expected to play a critical role in passing bills that will operationalize constitution.

Economic analysts have also warned the country will need billions of shillings to implement the new document, which will see, among others, the creation of new offices, constituencies and employment of extra manpower.  However, despite the challenge ahead, President Kibaki described the day as the biggest moment in Kenya’s history promising Kenyans of a change in the way politics was conducted. Prime Minister Raila Odinga said Kenyans must now forget troubles of the past and forge ahead under the new constitution.

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