Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The law vs. politics

There is a fine line to be drawn between the law and politics. They feed on each other and they rely on each other for effectiveness. For there to be laws, the politicians must work together to craft Bills in Parliament. For there to be effective political governance, there has to be a structure to regulate the behavior of politicians.

When Kibaki fired his entire Cabinet and prorogued Parliament indefinitely, he was well within his powers. He did not act ultra vires vis-a-vis the constitution. If he were to call for snap General Elections now, he would still be acting well within the boundaries of the law of the land. Those who are whining at the Rais' sudden evidence of backbone should take the good as well as the bad. They wanted the referendum to fail. Now they must face the music. The man who controls the calender, under the current constitituion, is the president; not Parliament and not the general public.

Wanjiku has spoken, now it is the time for the politician and other 'experts' to act. We want a draft that encapsulates our aspirations, addresses our fears, and gives a roadmap for the future. More importantly, we do not want the likes of Kalembe Ndile and Maina Kamanda to be involved in crafting a new draft, or even revising the old one. The same goes for Agwambo and Co. The Mt. Kenya Mafia should employ their spectacularly expensive legal skills in other less intrusive areas like trying to legalise miraa or something.

This is my idea and it is pretty radical. When the PanAm flight was bombed over Lockerbie in Scotland, the Americans, British and Libyans agreed to let the Scots handle the trial of the Libyan suspects. The parties agreed with the verdict of the court. It is time we tried something similar. We can't trust our politicians to play fair over this process. So lets give the Scots a chance to do it for us. And those idiots who will start yelling about a lack of patriotism at this idea, I will remind them, "Patriotism is the last refuge of the vicious."

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