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The demerits of BBI outweighs its merits-Kitui lawyer

 Who is Kitonga Musyoka? 

Political analyst and constitutional lawyer Kitonga Musyoka at Kisii University on his graduation day. Photo/FILE

I am an upcoming Political Analyst and Constitutional Lawyer. I was born and raised in Tseikuru Sub County, Mwingi North Constituency, Kitui County.

I have a degree in Political Science and Public Administration (Kisii University).

You comment a lot about politics and law both locally and nationally. What's your interest in this?

Bertolt Bretcht said, "The worst illiterate is the Political illiterate. He doesn't hear, speak, participate in the political events. He doesn't know the price of bean, flour, rent, shoes, medicine. Depends on Political decisions. From this ignorance is born the prostitute, abandoned child and the worst thieves of all."

The country's decisions are made as a result of political outcome, the primary role of parliament is to legislate then executive implements policies and Laws.

Kenyans have been subjected to unfair policies like gas tax, VAT fuel, Internet, airtime and others. Parliament also performs the role of representation. They should pass laws which favour ordinary wananchi.

How has your upbringing affected your career?

When I was a young boy, I used to follow parliament proceedings from a radio. You could hardly see a television in the entire community. I knew almost all ministers who served under the first and second term of President Kibaki. I remember at one time Kibaki reshuffled his ministers and majority were sacked after rejecting the 2005 referendum. I was good in Social Studies, History and Government. I wanted to pursue Law but I didn't satisfy cluster points so I chose a course close to Law.

What have you learnt from coalitions in Kenya? Do they work? What do the politicians do wrong?

Coalitions in Kenya are formed to participate in elections and win power. If they don't, they fall apart. The UhuRuto union has outlived its purpose. NASA has collapsed and former allies formed One Kenya Alliance. Whenever a President leaves office, the popularity of his party dwindles. The examples are KANU, PNU and now Jubilee.

I need to know your view about the BBI. Is it good for Kenya? What are its demerits?

BBI also known as the Constitution of Kenya Amendment Bill 2020, I remember I wrote an article analysing the good and ugly side of it. I am against the inculcation of Judiciary Ombudsman and ccounties being represented by two Senators, additional seventy constituencies, but expansion of county funds to 35%, Governors nominating candidates of opposite gender, eestablishment of ward development fund, youth Helb loan period of four years are some of the good proposals even though this is just a drop in the ocean.

What do you think will be the implication of August 20 2021 ruling on BBI from the Court of Appeal? If it rules against the Handshake principals, will they go to Supreme Court or they will accept and move on?

BBI ruling can go either way. I have said before whatever the outcome, the conundrum will be settled at Supreme Court. Appellants assembled good Lawyers like Otiende, Orengo and Githu Muigai who made good submissions. The High Court had ruled the President cannot start an initiative to amend the Constitution but under the Constitution he reserves all fundamental rights. There was also a lacuna whether President can be sued in his personal capacity. These are some of the issues Court of Appeal will address whether High Court was right in ruling BBI to be unconstitutional.

Does DP Ruto stand to benefit from the judgment?

Ruto has vehemently opposed the initiative from the word go suggesting it addresses the concerns of top class after the introduction of Prime Minister and Deputies and Leader of Official Opposition. If the court will reject it, he will be happy. He rejected the 2010 Constitution but he has been the biggest beneficiary of it. His office is protected by the Constitution. BBI too could be a silver lining and blessing in disguise to him.

Recently, Uhuru met OKA leaders at the Mombasa State House. They rejected Raila as the endorsed flag bearer. How does this impact 2022 succession politics?

Raila is walking a political tight rope. It will be difficult for him to convince the rest to support him. All of them have supported him twice. It would be fair if he can support one of them.

15 Kitui County Assembly MCAs visited DP Ruto in his Karen offices. They were reprimanded by Speaker Ndotto. Is Ruto making inroads in Ukambani or it is too early to tell?

William Ruto is traversing and making inroads across the country to woo voters with his Hustler agenda. This is where he is outshining the OKA principals but it won't be a walk in the park for him in Ukambani but he will get some few votes.

Kenya has a ballooning debt especially during UhuRuto govt. Mega corruption has ensued yet no high-profile convictions. We only see dramatic Kamata Kamata   Fridays which Hustler Movement say targets them. Do we have sacred cows in criminal justice system in this country?

Nobody has been arrested in relation to Kemsa scandal. This speaks volumes. We should see arrests from both government and opposition. EACC,DCI and ODPP are constitutionally established institutions which should be independent.

As a young man, what do you think the young people should do to take political leadership in Kenya, most of which is not held by them yet they are the majority? What arsenal can they use to compensate their inexperience and shallow pockets given politics is very expensive in Kenya?

Martin Luther King said, "Freedom is never given voluntarily by the oppressor. It must be demanded by the oppressed. You must demand it for it will not be given free. "We are the majority in this country. We should learn from what Ghana Youth did by rejecting bags of rice. Next election we should reject politicians who dish handouts, perennial liars of internships, stadia and laptops and Politicians who incite us across ethnic lines.

What will you remember President Uhuru for? How has his administration performed in your assessment?

I will remember him as the President whose election was nullified by the Supreme Court and who most of his decisions were ruled unconstitutional by the courts and his handshake with Raila. His government has performed well in infrastructure.

Who among OKA principals stand a good chance of competing against Ruto?   You will recall that Raila was badly affected politically by NASA principals exit.

Kalonzo stands a better chance if you consider seniority and experience. However, I also wrote on why they should unite with Raila. The four OKA principals can't win Presidential election when Raila and Ruto are vying but their votes will have an effect on 50+ 1

A number of top politicians have cases in court and are being probed by the DCI and EACC. Do we get the leaders we deserve or they are a reflection of the electorate given a number of them are voted again even with tainted image?

Kenyan voters elect populist and those with capital muscle. Lawyer Khaminwa said we have never had selfless politician leaders in this country. EACC and IEBC should come up with a mechanism of ensuring the corrupt don't vie. The decision to have those accused and taken to court step down pending determination of their case is in the right direction.

Do you read books or watch political shows? What's your best author or host? Why?

I occasionally read books. I have read books like Peeling Back the Mask by Miguna Miguna, My Life in Crime by John Kiriamiti,We lived to tell a story of Nyayo House survivors, Ngugi wa Thiongo's I will marry when I want,Trial of Dedan Kimathi.

I read newspapers to be updated with what is happening across the country politically. My favourite political show is KTN NEWS Inside Politics, Morning Express, AM Live.

Kitonga Musyoka is a Political Analyst, Comments on Politics and Law

Story  by Musyoka Ngui.


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