Mjadala IV: Mobilising Hope and Civic Responsibility Ahead of 2015

Hon. Priscilla Nyokabi Nyeri County Women Representative
Suba Churchill Coordinator,  National Civil Society Congress
Kamotho Waiganjo Commissioner, Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution
Irungu Houghton Associate Director, Society for International Development

The Constitution of Kenya 2010 contains Africa’s most progressive rights and freedoms. The international community called it a watershed for reform on the continent. Kenyans hailed it as a new, powerful and transformative covenant between citizens and their leaders. Four years after its promulgation, the four constitutional promises of public participation, integrity, equality and devolution appear elusive.

Suffocated by tokenistic participation strategies, disrespect for the law, rapidly intensifying conflictual relationships between and among elected Representatives, National and County Governments and perceived shrinking of civil liberties, the progress towards the achievement of these promises are far from the reality envisaged by the constitution. The late Dr. Martin Luther King Jnr’s phrase “This hour in history needs a dedicated circle of transformed non-conformists” could as just apply to Kenya today.

Structured around a moderator and discussants, this SID Mjadala Series brought together key civic actors at the end of 2014 to reflect on strategies for re-building hope and agency behind the constitution. Some of the key questions we will explore are;

·    Were there glimmers of a new covenant and behaviour between the state and citizens over 2014?

·    How can we break through the barriers of collective inertia, fear, apathy and public self-doubt?

·    How can we break through the institutional constraints, competing pressures and barriers that make legislating and governing so difficult?

·    Where could transformational non-conformists focus their energies in 2015?