Hilton Hotel, Nairobi
By Reuben Kigame (Member, Linda Katiba Movement)
The organizers, invited guests, colleagues in media and civil society, ladies and gentlemen:
I am delighted to be alive today to attend this celebration given the global challenges to health all over the world.
I also thank the Linda Katiba movement for the opportunity to participate in their activities of protecting and speaking in defense of the constitution. As a person living with disability, I can say without any contradiction that Linda Katiba is one of the most inclusive groups in Kenya.
As a vocal defender of the 2010 Constitution, I stand here to celebrate at least three things:
- Inclusivity. The constitution not only provides and protects equality, justice and other fundamental human rights, but ensures through the Bill of Rights that all are equal under the law regardless of age, gender, economic status, ethnicity, race, religion, disability and so on. This is something to celebrate because the marginalized are protected and enhanced and affirmative action made possible where necessary. The 4th Schedule even allows citizens to participate right to the local level in government planning, decisions and programmes.
- The sovereignty of the people. Article 1 ensures and protects citizens as carriers of power. They may even delegate it to the three arms of government, but it belongs to them. This ensures that they are not abused by power brokers and exploitative governments. The recent court rulings on the cases filed in part by Linda Katiba against the BBI process indicate how such sovereignty can be abused, but also how it can be harnessed constitutionally to protect citizens.
- Last but not least, equal opportunities. It is through the 2010 Constitution that people like myself can have an opportunity to participate in the affairs of Kenya such as elective politics, something that was difficult to achieve before the COK 2010. It is in this light that I take the liberty to publicly announce that I will be vying for presidency in the coming 2022 election, something that may seem unusual in human eyes,but made possible through the provisions of the Constitution.
So, please join me in saying to one another: Happy 11th Anniversary!