Kenya's top executives support the proposed constitution although they are not happy with some of its provisions. Those who spoke to the Nation said that the new document was more progressive than the current one.
Ms Betty Maina of the Kenya Association of Manufacturers said that the proposed constitution addresses the grievances that inspired the clamour for change.
However, she said that she had some concerns with some provisions in the document, which she hoped would be addressed at a later stage. “My support stems from the fact that the alternative to the proposed constitution is the current one, which is woefully inadequate,” the KAM boss said.
Mr William Lay of General Motors East Africa says he would vote ‘Yes’ because the proposed law is good for business. “If the ‘No’ team prevails, Kenya will be seen to be moving backwards. That will have a negative impact on investor confidence,” he argued.
Asked to single out one thing in the proposed law which he thinks is revolutionary, Mr Lay names the provision for executive ministers. “Politicians make lousy ministers,” he said.
Mr James Macharia of NIC Bank agreed with Mr Lay, adding that the new law will enhance political stability and pave the way for a more predictable business environment. The banker also said that the fact that everyone shall be required to pay taxes under the new law is sufficient reason to pass it.
Mr Ashok Shah of APA Insurance said that whereas the proposed constitution had some flaws, it is a step forward for Kenya. “Despite issues raised by the church on kadhi’s courts and abortion, I think the proposed constitution will be good for the people of Kenya,” said Mr Shah.
Bidco’s Vimal Shah said that even though it is not perfect, the proposed law is a fairly good document. “It provides for devolution and the independence of the judiciary and other institutions which is a step in the right direction,” he said. The Bidco boss also said that the proposed pure presidential system ensures that there is only one centre of power.
Haco industries chairman Chris Kirubi said the new law is more progressive. “I’m particularly happy because it has provisions that enhance good governance and greater accountability,” Mr Kirubi said. Though there may be a few contentious issues, Mr Kirubi said that they should not stop Kenyans from endorsing the new law.
Business magnate Manu Chandaria said it is evident that Kenyans want a new constitution. “We cannot afford to continue talking about the constitution for ages. Let us do away with this once and for all. A few things might not be acceptable, but let us pass it and move on,” urged the business mogul.