Over 90 percent of Kenyan citizens have not read and understood the Constitution despite the fact that the first General Elections under a new constitutional framework are around the corner.
Chief Executive Officer of Kenya Alliance of Resident Associations (KARA) Stephen Mutoro said this during a one day meeting with residents of Busia and its environs in the town.
The meeting was geared towards sensitisation of the area residents on devolution and devolved government in preparations for the elections. “We are discussing devolution in terms of leadership and we are hoping to provoke people to elect their leaders wisely, election will not be business as usual this time round,” Mutoro said.
Kara’s assessment revealed that 90 percent of the residents had not read the crucial Chapter Six of the Kenyan constitution on leadership and integrity.
Mutoro reiterated that the provisions of Chapter Six which dwell on leadership and integrity needed more attention as Kenyans are preparing to go to the polls.
He urged the residents to seek leaders who have no skeletons in their closets as this would save them time and embarrassments when such leaders are vetted. Over a hundred participants attended the forum which brought together youth, women and community based organisations to deliberate on various issues relating to devolved government under the new constitution.
“We chose Busia in Western Province because it is the boarder County neighbouring Siaya, Bungoma and Uganda,” Mutoro told journalists at the close of the meeting.
Former coordinator National Tax Payers Association Kizito Wangalwa who is also eying the Governor’s seat in Busia County noted that very few women were seeking for leadership positions in the County despite the fact that there are more women than men in the county.
“We also need to focus on provisions of Chapter Four of the Constitution on marginalized groups and in our case it is women,” Wangalwa said.
He urged the residents to seek information that will enable them have democratic and accountable governance. He pointed out that Busia residents should engage in what would bind them with their leaders.
Through the discussions, the County residents were enlightened on their rights and how to demand for them as envisaged in the new constitution.
This article was also published in the Kenyan Woman Issue 28