FreeKenya is a national constitutional platform built around the realization that the responsibility for the foundational contract is limiting the potential and aspirations of the peoples of Kenya.
After 9 years, it is time to realize that despite being very progressive, the Constitution 2010 has some gaps and hurdles that are allowing the bad mannerism of yore to find their way back into our midst and it has not compelled the implementers to aim higher in terms of the potentials that the constitution promised.
As a living document, the constitution should be open to improvement as time goes by and such improvements should not be political dynamites that defy progress and generate tension but rather should generate legal debates. That is why we are Keen that a non-political outfit should be leading the debate surrounding amending the constitution 2010 with the conviction that constitutional arguments should take precedence and not the political ones.
Already, FreeKenya has pushed through a precedence setting arrangement to have the initiative pushing the referendum getting registered as a broad-based membership society and delivery of the declaration that the process of referendum initiative is not political but constitutional. If political lenses are pushed aside, there are more reasons supporting social convergence than
In August 2018 FreeKenya arose from the need to counter various hardships that Kenyans were faced with. Key to these issues was when the executive was introducing VAT on petroleum products. On 20 th of September, the Executive managed to push the VAT changes acrimoniously through parliament. The membership of FreeKenya was involved in a demonstration outside parliament
to remind the members of parliament duty to uphold the will of the people.
After the conduct of parliament to submit to the will of executive a violation of the principle of separation of powers it was clear that parliament was not independent and not representative of the will of the people.
We formulated the question to read: –
We the citizens and tax-payers of the Republic of Kenya, signed herein, heavily burdened by the escalating cost of living due to unfair taxation, do hereby INVOKE our sovereign power as enshrined in Articles 1 and 257 of the Constitution of Kenya, to DIRECTLY enact an amendment of the said Constitution
through a referendum to:
a) ABOLISH ALL TAXATION ON BASIC AND ESSENTIAL COMMODITIES
including petrol, kerosene and diesel and b) Restructure the State and System of Governance to ensure efficient and effective use of national resources and respect for the voice of the people.
The first question is to abolish taxes that hurt nascent personal economies of people and holds them from growing and developing their personal situations.
The second we are soliciting for VIEWS of ALL KENYANS on the areas they want to be changed to meet the specifications as the second question.
A referendum is a discussion surrounding issues that will be adopted into the social contract that will govern the operations of the State, how those allowed to play roles in the operation will be identified, what they are supposed to do, why, for how long and with what outcomes. These matters have suffered immerse
distortions driven by the political class leadership of the referendum question. It is no wonder the processes involved have become expensive, opaque and untrusted as the politicians have taken the opportunity to advance their selfish interest at the expense of public good.
DIRECT REPRESENTATION & PEOPLE’S GOVERNMENT
Article 1(2) is about the exercise of our sovereignty directly or through our elected representatives. We seek to provide the frameworks to make sure that the people can also represent themselves directly. The people interaction with the system will be increased and improved.
This we foresee can be carried out in five ways
1) Frequent Referenda’s – We want to establish that there can be
referendums that are not Article 255 issues and will be easier to be
carried out such as through lesser signatures (100,000 and county
wide Referenda will be based on a bill from senate to set the numbers but in any case around 5% of the registered voters in the county) and with their electoral process can be delivered electronically as an option. Some counties may have issues that in other counties may be treated differently. The Article 255 referendums will remain at 5% consent signatures (IEBC must confirm consent from the signatories using bio-metrics) and the referendum will be carried out through brick and mortar. However, there will be a specific day set aside and resources set aside every year for referenda’s to be carried out in case
any referenda meet the criteria.
2) Quantifiable Public Participation – Public participation where there are halls, notice boards and libraries with a number of villages clustered together at the sub ward level all over the country so that all the laws being made should be deposited at the libraries for at least two weeks.
3) People’s Self/Direct Representation –The People in governance
directly will boast participation. This way transparency is improved and corruption is put on check. With Makueni Example where FreeKenya was a guest to learn how the system works – The people’s conventions start from the villages, Clusters of villages (Sub Ward), Ward, County Levels and nationally. At each level there will be 11 representatives including Youth, Women and PWDs. The People’s Government is voluntary undertaking and the volunteers will be allowed allowances as per the SRC recommendations. Those in the people’s government will be not participate in political activities and remain neutral for the duration of their terms.
The people government will be in charge of
1) 3% of budget dedicated to continuous civic education and facilitation of public participation.
2) 7% budget allocation to devolved funds to be deployed through
appointment of project committees at the Village Level, Cluster Level, Ward Level and the Sub-County Level. The CRA will come up with a formula for allocation of the various funds nationwide. Sub-County Development Funds (SCDF), Ward Development Funds (WDF), Cluster Development Funds (CLUDF) and Village Development Funds (VDF) will under their armpit and they will carry out appointment of the committee’s preceding over the project identification and implementation. The people’s government will also be in charge of bursary disbursements. Legislators (MPs and MCAs) would exercise oversight just like they would do with all other public possessions.
4) Recall and Impeachment of Elected Leaders – Recall of MPs at the national Level, the people’s government will receive at least 5%
signature consents (IEBC must confirm these 5% is reached and
consent from them) from voters in the area of their non performance, breaking of Article 10, Chapter 6, Corruption etc. The people’s government will appoint a fact finding task force and their report will form the basis of a recall petition to be urgently heard in High Court. If the court agrees with the People’s Government position – The judge will invite the IEBC to prepare a by election. Recall can be commenced within 6 months after an election and within 1 year from the next election. The People’s Government will commence impeachment of Executive Leaders in the same manner but instead will submit the evidence to the legislative house in question which will trigger impeachment proceedings automatically.
5) Free and Fair Elections – General Elections will be called through 5 tallies (Foreign Observers, Local Observers & CSOs, Faith Based
Organizations, People’s Government, and Professional Bodies) and
one declaration which must include the tallies to generate
transparency. IEBC as a body will be restructured to create 3 semi-
autonomous but interdependent arms. Each with their separate
commissions and secretariats to avoid a lumped criticism of their
work but also ensure specialization of the commissioners. 3 head
commissioners will be appointed to carry out internal audit and