I did write some time back around February 2008 that we were witnessing the rebirth of hope in Kenya. Those were days of great uncertainities in this country and the future of this country lay completely at the mercy of one of the most unpredictable and unreliable species; The Kenyan politicians as it was the time when the country had just borne forth the still-binding agreement, now infamously called the National Accord. Since then a lot has changed in our beloved country and I daresay that things can only better! Indeed, in a striking departure from the events of December 2007 when the failings and weaknesses of our electoral systems were glaringly exposed, kenyans in August 4, 2010 made history by holding the most peaceful elections/referendum in Africa ever with cutting-edge technology as the country overwhelmingly ratified the proposed Constitution. Hence on August 27, 2010, all eyes will be on this country as the world witnesses the birth of a fresh nation " Kenya Mpya" in which future governance will be based purely on the democratic tenets of all-inclusiveness, participation and respect for human rights and the incessant pursuit of economic, political and social justice. Many progressive Kenyans are however warning against relaxation of the civil society in its watchdog role over the state.
It is in light of the foregoing that key leading lights in the Kenyan civil society will be holding a special forum dubbed "KATIBA MPYA - LOOKING BACK, RECLAIMING OUR FUTURE!" bringing together various generations of those who struggled for a new constitution to celebrate the rebirth of our republic, reflect on the stony road we’ve trod to get here, and envision the future they fought for. The convening of the forum is made in the knowledge that: we cannot afford to be naïve. Old habits die hard and it is an open secret that some of the political class supported the new constitution due to pressure from below or political expediency and not because they believed in the change that the new constitution promises. The forces of the status quo are already regrouping to start whittling away at the gains that the new constitutional order promises. There is therefore need to remain eternally vigilant to ensure that the new dispensation lives up to the expectation of the longsuffering citizens of Kenya who have pursued the dream of a new constitution for more than two decades. It is imperative therefore for those who struggled for a new constitution to convene both the celebrate the milestone of a new constitutional order, to reflect on the journey so far and to set the agenda for the future, all along reminding the politicians that this constitution has its owners and they will be keeping watch as it is implemented to ensure that this new beginning does not turn out to be a false dawn as happened after 1963 and 2002.
There shall be music and poetry and the conference shall endeavour to have representation from Kenyans of all races, ethnic groups and gender and generations to showcase the new Kenya we hope to build in the new dispensation. There shall also be a photographic exhibition showcasing key moments in the struggle for a new constitution.
The conference will take place on Tuesday, 24th August 2010 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the National Museum Hall. See you all there. I leave you with an extract of the "Anthem of our Popular Struggle" Composed by Kang’ara Wa Njambi and the Late Karimi Nduthu,and popularized by RPP and 5Cs and Adopted at the First NCA-NCEC Plenary Session, Limuru on April 4, 1997 as the Anthem of Struggle.
Uuhuru weetu!!! Kenya , Wakenya ; Uuhuru weetu Wakenya, Tupiganie!
Na Haki Zetu!