By Amunga Akhanyalabandu.
Attached above is Rt. Hon. Raila Amollo Odinga’s full statement.
Many agree, the reason the Judiciary is being revisted by UhuruRuto govt is because of the nullification of the 2017 presidential election.
Now here’s the thing. One may not agree with everything said therein. This is quite in order, as conformity for conformity sake is nonsensical. In point of fact, as the late John F Kennedy (35th US President) put it, “conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.”
Still, here’s the thing. There ought to be areas of agreement. And as for me, 4 such areas standout. These, I paraphrase as follows:
- That the doctrine of separation of powers is in built into our constitutional order. Moreover that this doctrine is integral, and not just incidental, to good governance.
- That the 2010 constitution sought to restore the balance of power between the 3 branches of government. This balance was thrown off-kilter by questionable constitutional amendments, which were effected during the previous dispensation.
- That each branch must not trespass on the mandate of another (independence). Yet each branch relies on the cooperation of the others (interdependence). Moreover, the twin concepts of independence and interdependence must never become the basis for counter-productive turf wars. The purpose of both is to produce a whole government that is more accountable and transparent in ALL of its transactions.
- That the leaders of all 3 branches must now ”seek common ground in their respective powers in order to achieve a more effective government of the people, by the people and for the people.” In short, a more effective republican form of government.
Here’s another thing, my friends. The former PM closes by advising that ”the country deserves an informed debate rather than a shouting match on this critical matter.”
He seems to suggest that we cease with the unhealthy exchange of innuendo and even insults. And that in its place, we should embrace a healthier exchange of ideas and insights.
And so here is the final thing. The former PM is clearly cognisant that our governance system replicates the Washington model. This is instructive because, unlike me, he was not really been a big proponent of this model.
Yet he, like I and many others, appreciate both peril and genius in the Washington model. Great peril lies in throwing the balance of power off-kilter yet again. By contrast, great genius lies in preserve in pristine form that delicate feature that is the checks and balances.
This genius of the Washington model – the said checks and balances – must really not be disturbed. These must not be disturbed, as long as good governance remains an overriding objective of the republic.