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Ceremonial or Powerful President – Kenya At A Cross-Road

Expectations of many Kenyans have not been met due to failure to achieve national unity, face of Kenya in the public sector, corruption, negative ethnicity, and disharmony in the system. During the initial debates for making constitution before 2010, an idea of ceremonial president was floated across board. The proposal focused on parlamenterian government with a powerful Prime Minister and a Ceremonial President. The spirit behind this was to re-unite the nation around a president with national face other than powerful president identified with a political party. This was rejected at Naivasha accord. Presidential system was supported by political elite. But the law demanded that whoever contests as possible presidential candidate must resign from party leadership. Such provision was meant to make the President a harmonizer of all ethnic groups in Kenya. It was to make the President be above the party politics and to enable him promote equal opportunity and to harmonize Kenyans around common national myth. Actually, this has not been the case. The majority party has always maimed and rejected anything that can bring national dialogue. Any attempt to reconsider sharing of public offices among qualified Kenyans has been indirectly thwarted since politicians need such positions to reward their political supporters. This attitude and practice are not good. There are many able Kenyans but since they do not belong to the right party, they miss out in public appointments. Party politics in Kenya is the unmaking for the nation. It would be great if Kenya had chosen Ceremonial President whose main role was to bring harmony and represent all political divide. Prime Minister would be the leader of government or the executive. The President would have the role of State President. The whole idea was quashed due to selfishness.
This story is openning pandora box on the constitution. The book of law must be revised. The priority is to make every citizen feel part and parcel of the pluralistic nation. Any qualified citizen can ascend to higher position or do a job of his or her kind despite political affiliations or other groupings. It would minimize division and maximize the common good.
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About Peter Onyango

Dr. Peter Onyango O. is one of our main contributors. He is a senior law lecturer, a writer, a consultant, peace ambassador, and a researcher. He assists so many professionals, legal minds, and debaters with his skills and scholarly wealth! He supports children and village community as a way of giving back to community. He edits, proof reads, and publishes various articles for our page!

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