Theme: constitutional amendments: a citizen centric approach and proactive citizenship: the way forward for Kenya.

Public Forum Report ~~ 13th September 2019

Theme: constitutional amendments: a citizen centric approach and proactive citizenship: the way forward for Kenya. Report by Allan Induswe

The political push-pull agenda, proposed and being campaigned for from a section of top Kenyan political elites, concerns “constitutional amendment”. The Hekima Institute of Peace Studies and International Relations (HIPSIR) organized a public forum on the issue on 13 September 2019, with a view to grasping what this issue entails and to bring academics, the public, professionals and civil organizations to come and dialogue on it. One area it focused involved the place of the citizens in the entire process of making and effecting a constitutional change. Among the issues of importance at the forum was the conversation about peace and security, which have always been key issues during any political campaigns and electioneering period in Kenya.Guest speakers Mr. George Kogoro of KHRC and Ms. Grace Maingi of URAIA Trust

Could the conversation begin with sentiments about peace before the 2022 general election? During the discussion, civic awareness and participation were highlighted as issues that leave much to desire. Civic education and civilian inclusion were suggested as fundamental elements for citizens to make informed political decisions on issues (e.g., constitutional amendment) that significantly touch their lives.

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Hekima Monthly Public Forum

Elections Preparedness: A Reality Check, My Responsibility

7 July 2017

EPRCMR 012With the upcoming general elections scheduled for August 2017, HIPSIR recognizes that initiating a multifaceted peace building effort and preventing pre and post elections violence and creating sustainable peace beyond the elections period is critical. Ensuring credible and peaceful elections is a collective responsibility that involves many key actors, including the citizens. In its tradition of organizing topical monthly public forums, HIPSIR, in collaboration with International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) and Kenya Electoral Assistance Program (KEAP) held a monthly public forum themed Elections Preparedness: A Reality Check, My Responsibility on July 7, 2017. The event targeted scholars, subject matter experts, government, religious leaders and organizations (NGOs, CSOs, FBOs and CBOs) keen on promoting peaceful democratic transitions and members of the public. The key speakers at the forum included Mr. Irungu Houghton, the Associate Director of the Society for International Development, who spoke on the relationship between peace and justice, reminding the audience that it is a constitution right to have credible and peaceful elections and the current dichotomy that exists of pitting justice against peace is an anomaly since sustainable peace cannot take root in the absence of justice. Mr. Obadiah Keitany, the Director of Audit, Risk and Compliance of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) spoke on the structures and mechanisms that have been put in place to ensure free, fair and peaceful elections. Mr. Martin Oloo, a lawyer and political analyst, discussed the social contract that exists between the electorate and political leaders. He stressed on the importance of ethics in the Kenyan political sphere. A key factor that will ensure the elections are credible and peaceful is the willingness of all the stakeholders including the citizens to engage in a constructive dialogue in a responsible and responsive manner. The IEBC as the body mandated to deliver free, fair and credible elections is expected to educate and inform the public on the progress it makes related to how well prepared it is for the elections while ensuring it conducts its work in a transparent manner in order to build trust with all the stakeholders. It is each person's responsibility to ensure credible and peaceful elections.

 

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