|Picture from the Kenyan Daily Nation Online showing "Mr Simon Wachira of Mt Kenya Tourism Circuit [being] assisted to climb Mt Kenya, where he placed a copy of the new Constitution on Friday" |
Let's face it; as soon as some of us hear "Constitution", we automatically go into snooze mode. That's exactly the attitude I had when I heard that Kenya had a new constitution. I knew there had been a referendum on the constitution, I had even caught glimpses of a glitzy ceremony and was sure there had finally been consensus between President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga but frankly, it did not seem too exciting to me. I could not have been more wrong. Shamefully, it was only after I had listened to young Kenyan points-of-view on the constitution aired on BBC World Have Your Say that I actually became interested in the process and its implications.
According to their website:
"The Constitution Review Commission was set up by a Constitutional Instrument 2010 (C.I.) 64 as a Commission of Inquiry to conduct a consultative review of the operation of the 1992 Constitution."
*Sigh* All those 'C's in that one sentence above may elicit instant boredom but we often forget that a constitution provides the sets of laws/rules by which we are all governed and protected in any democracy. Therefore, it is imperative that we take more interest in any constitutional review.
Did you know that the Ghana Constitution Review Commission:
- Has a radio promo?
- Is on Facebook and Twitter?
- Has a blog?
- Has been criss-crossing the country hearing views and suggestions from ordinary people regarding the constitution?
- Has an online submission form on their website?
Apparently 31,000 submissions have been made so far. This surprises me since I am not sure how seriously people (especially young people) are taking this process.
I do have questions of my own regarding this constitutional review process:
- Young people (0-24 year olds) form the vast majority of the Ghanaian population and are also those who are going to be most affected by any constitutional changes. How seriously engaged are they in this process? I am talking specifically about the 18-24 year olds?
- How are all the submissions being sifted through and narrowed down?
- Which suggestions will be deemed worthy to be part of the new constitution or a referendum ?
- If a suggestion is not in the government's interest but comes from a sizeable number of people what happens to that suggestion?
Anyone out there with thoughts on constitutional reviews and amendments? What suggestion would you have for a new constitution?