President said more opportunities to amend the law will come in future:President Uhuru Kenyatta makes his speech during the 57th Jamhuri Day celebrations at Nyayo National Stadium on December 12, 2020.
Uhuru: All indications point to need to amend Constitution
President Uhuru Kenyatta on Saturday used this year’s Jamhuri Day celebrations to pitch for the BBI referendum saying the time is ripe to amend the current law.
Speaking when he led the nation in commemorating the 57th Jamhuri Day, the President said all indications point to the urgent need to revisit the 2010 Constitution to make it better and more responsive to the aspirations of Kenyans.
He said the post-election deaths that accompany every election is a sign of constitutional decay and urged Kenyans not to be prisoners of the current law but be ready to change it for the better.
“If there is national ‘instability’ every five years because of an election, this is a sign that the nation is on the edge of a new constitutional frontier,” Uhuru said.
“If it takes an absurd 123 days to conduct an election or one-third of a year as we did in 2017, this is a sign that the moment calls for change. If the country loses one trillion shillings during these 123 days of an election or an equivalent of one-third of our national budget, this is a sign that a moment of reckoning is approaching.”
Uhuru said Building Bridges Initiative – he is spearheading together with ODM leader Raila Odinga – is meant to complete what was started when the country came up with the current constitution.
“BBI will not resolve all our constitutional grievances of the day. It is just a First Amendment to the 2010 Constitution. It only attempts to make the 2010 Constitution better.”
Present during the 57th Jamhuri day celebrations were Deputy President William Ruto, opposition Chief Raila Odinga, former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka, ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi and Ford Kenya leader Moses Wetangula.
The president spoke days after the BBI Bill and signatures were handed over to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
DP Ruto has been pushing for a review of the Bill to build consensus ahead of the referendum.
But in what appears to be a response to his deputy, the President said there will be more opportunities to relook into the document in future and that current process is just but a first opportunity to right the wrongs.
“As we improve on it, we must remember that there will be a Second Amendment, a Third Amendment and many more as our young nation continues to grow,” he said.
Uhuru also defended the creation of the offices of the Prime Minister, his two deputies and the office of the leader of the opposition saying they will ensure more inclusivity.
He said the current system where only the President and his deputy sits at the top breeds exclusion given the ethnic diversity of the country.
“But if we increase the positions at the apex of our Executive from two to five by introducing a Prime Minister and two Deputies, more communities will be accommodated at the apex,” he said.
“This was the Kofi Annan Consensus of February 2008 that gave us peace. And, if it worked then, it means there was something right about it.”
He also defended the creation of the Office of the Ombudsman to make the judiciary more accountable so that Kenyans can be sure of justice.
On Friday, outgoing Chief Justice David Maraga said the Judiciary Ombudsman should be an appointee of the Judiciary Service Commission (JSC) and not Executive as proposed in the BBI.