Friday, July 30, 2010


By Abdiwahid Biriq

August 4 is Referendum Day, so please remember what we are voting for and why. Remember the past years of torture chambers, assassinations, the Wagalla massacre, tribal clashes and mega scandals such as Goldenberg and Anglo Leasing.

Remember, too, Freedom Corner and the brutality captured on TV, the many Kenyans who lost their lives, those detained and scores that fled their country to exile. Remember 2007/2008 when this country was on the brink of civil war, and the reasons why the people tried to destroy their nation. You have a lifetime opportunity to put an end to all these and usher a new dawn for Kenya.

With a new constitution, Kenya can remake itself, put behind it those painful and ruinous years, and with determination join the First World. Singapore did it in 40 years, why can’t we? We must rise to the challenge of establishing a new order. The proposed law will create possibilities, opportunities and renewal. After the December 27, 2007 vote, Kenya was to experience a most painful and trying period in its short history. Under the new law, the polls body will be independent, reliable and competent, police will be better paid, equipped, professional and independent. 

We shall also expect upward mobility in the civil service. The culture of people staying in office even after they are brain dead shall end, and every Kenyan will have the privilege of serving their country. Jobs will be available on merit putting a nail on the coffin of patronage, nepotism and tribalism. Our institutions will reflect our diversity, rather than being a collection of tribal lieutenants. And more importantly, it will instill a culture of independence, accountability, reform and attitudinal change in institutions of governance. Vote for change on Referendum Day.

The writer is an advocate of the High of Court.