Of the many obstacles that stand on Kenya’s path to economic prosperity, none has been more devastating and enduring like bad governance.
It has been the root cause of insatiable land grabbing, theft, grand corruption, political murders, gross unemployment, and the dragon of negative ethnicity that nearly consumed the entire country early last year.
And all these have been the culmination of the systemic adulteration of the independence Constitution – the concentration of power in a single institution without the necessary checks and balances as its most outstanding achievement.
When the Constitution writing project began in the early 1990s the majority of Kenyans were agreed that power needed to be dispersed and checked by the various arms of government.
But going by the polarisation that has emerged as the deadline for submission by the public of views on the draft closed on Wednesday, this point appears to be escaping the memory of many.
Once again, the process appears to be headed for a stalemate thanks to the short-term interests of the main actors on the political arena.
Yet the jostling for power aside, it must be said that the constitution making project has merely become captive to a lack of leadership.
Leadership is about showing the way, problem solving and staying focused on things that bear fruit on the lives of the followers.
It is for this reason that the wobbling that has come to characterise this initiative must be placed squarely at the feet of the two principles of the governing coalition.
The duo must keep in mind that finishing this process is not only critical to their legacies as leaders or future ambitions but more importantly to the social and economic welfare of the people they claim to lead.
Nothing, it must be said, will determine our success at improving our living standards as a people than good governance that is the main object of a new Constitution.
Participants in this project must be reminded of the fact that 2010 is going to be a critical year for Kenya’s pursuit of prosperity as spelt out in the national economic blueprint – the Vision 2030.
It is the year when the entire global economy is expected to start the upward climb from the hole of recession that the Wall Street pushed it into late last year.
Economists say that climb is going to be fragile, long and steep, meaning Kenya cannot afford to add the heat of a polarised constitution making process to it.
It is for this reason that every citizen must be reminded that failure – that will leave the country with the current flawed framework of governance and polarization – are not options in this constitution making project.
A breakthrough must be found and not anytime later than what the set timetable stipulates.