A legislator says final debate on proposed amendments of Kenya’s draft constitution will begin in parliament Wednesday ahead of a scheduled vote that paves the way for a new constitution.
Gitobu Imanyara said if adopted the new constitution will ensure balance and provide real change and hope for all Kenyans.
“From 9 O’clock we will start debate on the proposed amendment and the mood in the House (parliament) and in the country is that we should pass the constitution as crafted by the Committee of Experts. So, I am confident… we shall have a new constitution that provides real change for Kenya after almost half a century of independence from the colonial constitution,” he said.
Local media reported that ministers in the coalition government and lawmakers have been unable to fully agree on suggested changes or amendments to the proposed law.
The reports said both the Party of National Unity (PNU) and the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) in the coalition government are suggesting different amendments to the draft constitution.
But legislator Imanyara expressed confidence that Kenya will have a new constitution.
“After fighting for more than 20 years and with less than 24 hours to go, we shall have a brand new constitution for Kenya that marks a significant departure from the one party institutional framework that has been responsible for so much harm in this country,” Imanyara said.
After Kenya’s parliament nominated its members comprising nine experts and two ex-officio members, President Mwai Kibaki appointed the Committee of Experts which is the main technical organ in the constitutional review process.
Expectations are reportedly high among Kenyans ahead of the prospects of a new constitution.
Legislator Imanyara said the new constitution will meet the high expectations of Kenyans.
“Yes...but by and large, this is the best constitution under the circumstances because it had gone through a select committee of parliament; it has gone through a committee of experts that listened and analyzed submissions of more than one million Kenyans… and we are happy that for the first time in Kenya’s history we are likely to have a people constitution,” Imanyara said.
The parliament is scheduled to conduct a referendum on the new constitution after approving it.