7/22/2005

Riots about the constitution


Excerpts.
"One man was killed and five more were injured - two of them policemen - in violence linked to attempts at blocking debate on the new Constitution yesterday."

In Mombasa, some youths demonstrated while carrying banners which read: "We want the Bomas Draft Constitution only."

Thinker noted
"Never have I ever been so ashamed to be a Kenyan. 90 people are massacred as MPs are stuffing their greedy bellies with chicken and samosas in coast as they completely change the constitution draft to suit themselves. The President could not even be bothered to go and console the families of the victims. And now we are being tear gassed for expressing our views?"
[] and italics...mine.

I feel like i need more information about what the MP's(kenyan members of parliament) are trying to do with the constitution. I am still confused as to what is happening, before we can even start talking about freedom of expression (clearly being violated by the govt).

The Kenyan journalist John Kamau has a post about the riots, his blog will definitely help in figuring out what is going on. (Thank you).
his post on the trouble in NE was especially informative and as was his article that appeared in the standard. Mental acrobatics also blogged about the neglect that NE has endured and the important connection between environment and peace.
La vox Humaine blogged about the NE massacre, saying "bowling for columbine comes to kenya"

8 Comments:

Anonymous mshairi said...

I know the situation with demonstrations and people being killed is horrendous, Afromusing.I am also convinced that this is the time for Kenyans to stand firm for what they know is right. I read the words of Kotiamet Ole-Kina of Katiba Watch and my heart was filled with hope: "We will put up as much protest as necessary to stop a few politicians disregarding the will of the people,"

7/23/2005 6:46 AM  
Blogger Afromusing said...


link
to today's nation story.
excerpt:
"We will now do what is required... The MPs spent time to argue the matter from Wednesday to last night (Thursday). The debate came at a time when we were trying to make sure everybody is involved," he said.

The Head of State was responding to a question from a journalist who wanted to know his answer to those who feel that review process had been hijacked and the Bomas Draft mutilated as seen through street protests that left one man dead and others injured in Nairobi.

"The decision that was going to be made is what was made, and people should not worry about disputes over the process, as the review will help improve the nation," the President said.

Different views on the Constitution, he said, were healthy. "People have to differ, but the fact that the debate took two days before it was passed is a wonderful and beautiful thing," he said.

Asked if the draft contents would take care of the long-term interests of Kenyans, the President answered in the affirmative.

His conscience, he added, was clean and he had no doubt "at all" that the Draft Constitution met the needs of Kenyans as they had been promised."

**Basically he did not answer the question did he? Nowhere in that question is he asked about his conscience.

Then check out this
link
to commentary by Ambrose Murunga. its long winded, he has a point to make but doesnt communicate it properly.
The other
editorial
had nary a beep on Attorney General Amos Wako's past misdeeds...You all still remember Lucy kibaki Slapping a journalist and the Cholmondeley Delamere fiasco?
**will check out Katiba watch, it would be good if they could urge peaceful demonstrations. And as noted in the editorial more civic education on what is happening. On the other hand, i think people are watching closely what is going on with the MP's, the current structure of power is oppressive so i do not know if the opposition to the referendum can be expressed..well let me pose it this way..what other avanues of opposition to the referendum does the public have? (if you have the answer please post..)
katibawatch.org has some info though last entry is from may.
**i regret not reading the whole constitution when Uncle D. printed it out.

7/23/2005 9:46 AM  
Blogger Afromusing said...

oh oh and look at Kibaki's wording...
"The decision that was going to be made is what was made, and people should not worry about disputes over the process, as the review will help improve the nation," the President said.

is it just me or is that a smattering of paternalism, and it appears the decision was made before hand, so the whole 'debate' was just for show? or am i just reading too much into that statement?

7/23/2005 10:28 AM  
Blogger jjray said...

I think the crucial thing shall be the vote ratifying the draft constitution. The international community has to realize how important this vote shall be to affirming democracy in Kenya and have a large contingent of observers on hand. If the vote is fair, the draft constitution shall be defeated and Kibaki shall have been delivered an unequivocal message that people have lost faith in him. But if Kibaki's people are able to ram their new constitution through in a rigged election, democracy shall have taken a huge step backward in Kenya (maybe for an entire generation).

7/23/2005 1:39 PM  
Blogger Afromusing said...

I agree, and its also a shame that kenyans in the diaspora do not have the ability to vote on the referendum. (I think the ability to vote and hold dual citizenship was to be addressed by the new constitution?)

7/23/2005 3:53 PM  
Blogger john kamau said...

The next focus will be on the referendum which will be a test of might. I have many fears because not many Kenyans have read any of the constitution starting from the old, the bomas draft, the naivasha draft or the kilifi draft. Everything is being simplified as a battle between Kiraitu and Raila. It is a pity!

7/25/2005 2:40 AM  
Blogger Afromusing said...

definitely disheartening. thanks so much for the info btw!

7/29/2005 9:09 PM  
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