alexa Civil society groups want 'No' ministers sacked - Daily Nation

Civil society groups want 'No' ministers sacked

Sunday August 8 2010

Groups under the National Civil Society Congress meet at a past function. Civil society groups on Sunday called for sacking of ministers who were in the 'No’ camp.FILE|NATION

Groups under the National Civil Society Congress meet at a past function. Civil society groups on Sunday called for sacking of ministers who were in the 'No’ camp.FILE|NATION 

By LUCAS BARASA

Civil society groups on Sunday called for sacking of ministers who were in the 'No’ camp.

Under the National Civil Society Congress (NCSC) Katiba Sasa Campaign, the groups further rejected calls by 'No’ leaders for negotiations to address contentious issues in the yet to be promulgated new constitution.

Led by NCSC head Maurice Odhiambo, members George Nyongesa, Tom Kagwe, Suba Churchil and Kavetsa Adagala, the groups further launched an initiative to put the government on its toes to ensure the new constitution is fully implemented after President Kibaki signs it into law.

“Those who opposed the new constitution should resign, if not the President and the Prime Minister should sack them so that they do not sabotage the implementation of the new laws,” Mr Nyongesa said.

Addressing journalists at Serena Hotel, they said it would be difficult for the ministers and other senior government officials who opposed the new constitution to implement policies they do not believe in.

Higher Education Minister William Ruto, Special Programmes Minister Naomi Shaban, Samuel Poghisio (Information and Communications), Co-operative Development assistant minister Linah Jebii Kilimo, Mr William Cheptumo of Justice, National Cohesion and Constitution Affairs and suspended Roads colleague Wilfred Machage opposed the new constitution.

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Former Starehe MP Margaret Wanjiru who was Housing assistant minister before losing her parliamentary seat was also in 'No’ side. Three permanent secretaries were also said to have campaigned against the new constitution.

All MPs and ministers are among public officials expected to take fresh oath office by declaring allegiance to the new constitution.

On Sunday, the civil society leaders who chanted Katiba Mpya! Nguvu kwa Wakenya (New Constitution! Power to Kenyans) said they were opposed to any negotiations to amend the new constitution and that any changes should be as per process laid down in the new constitution.

“Building cohesion does not mean acquiescing to the unrealistic demands of anti-reformists and their agents. It means creating an environment in which the sovereign will of the people will be respected by implementation of the constitution,” Mr Odhiambo said.

They also called for “full and faithful enactment of new laws to give it effect to the Constitution, full and faithful formation of the different bodies charged with implementation of the Constitution and systematic and continuous civic education to further understanding of the constitution among the people of Kenya.”

They said all sectors of the Kenyan society must now shift their focus to implementation of the new constitutional dispensation.

They said those who will try to subvert the will of the people, put roadblocks in enactment of legislation to effect the new constitution and continue to distort the contents of the constitution must be stopped and the will of the people respected.

The leaders said only people of integrity and competent ones should be appointed in various institutions to implement the constitution.

The Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee and the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution are to be established within 90 days.

The civil society leaders said people mentioned or implicated in crimes by various commissions of inquiry “should not be appointed to these offices.” They also threatened to name and shame all those named by the commissions.