Kenya is likely to have a new constitution in 2010, the east African nation’s president said in his New Year address to the country.
The search for a new constitution viewed by some as a tool to check state powers and a guarantee of an equitable distribution of resources began in the early 1990s, but its realisation has been held back by various political interests.
The quest was given fresh impetus in 2008 when the former British colony, long held up as a model of stability in a region blighted by civil wars, erupted in deadly violence after disputed presidential polls in December 2007.
Under the terms of a peace deal brokered by international mediators, a team known as the Committee of Experts (COE) on the Constitution was formed and published a draft constitution in November, seeking the public’s input.
“Our country is at the threshold of a new constitutional dispensation in the New Year… They (the COE) must now carefully and prudently harmonise these views,” Mwai Kibaki said in the speech.
Kenyans expect a unifying, final document that reflects the will of the majority, the president said, adding the government would step up the implementation of projects aimed at stimulating east Africa’s largest economy.
“I am confident that we are now ready to begin works on Kenya’s second transport corridor linking us to Southern Sudan and Ethiopia and a new port at Lamu,” Kibaki said.
He said the government would start various initiatives to help the country combat the growing effects of climate change.
“More emphasis will be placed on energy production via green pathways including geothermal and wind energy. We will also begin an ambitious plan of planting trees and get our forest cover to 10 percent,” he said.