Posted by: KENASVIT | October 28, 2010

New constitution a victory for Kenyans

KENASVIT national chairman, Simon Sangale Ole Nasieku here explains what the new constitution and the referendum mean to the workers in Kenya.

The historic win for “YES” camp during the referendum was a clear and resounding statement that Kenyans have been yearning for a new constitutional dispensation.

We in KENASVIT pay tribute to the thousands of informal traders who participated in the plebiscite.

The issues which made the “YES” campaign more appealing to street traders and Hawkers resulting in its resounding victory were:

a)     Expanded Bill of rights to include economic, social and cultural rights alongside the civil and political rights. The right to health to food, to shelter and other basic needs is now protected by the constitution

b)    Reduced powers of the President

c)     Better checks and balances of power – Cabinet secretaries drawn from outside parliament will now replace the ministers

d)    Better representation of the people including women

e)     Opportunities for marginalized and special interest groups youths and persons with disabilities and other members of society

f)     Devolution of power to counties – counties will use resources to bring services closer to the people

g)     Management of land is crucial to street traders and Hawkers. All public land will be now administered by the National Lands commission. Land will be accessible in urban and peri-urban to street traders and Hawkers.

That Kenyans went through the process in a calm and peaceful environment is a plus for Kenyans. After post election violence in 2007/2008, KENASVIT started a campaign of peace building, conflict resolution and reconciliation among our members countrywide, geared towards bringing communities together and resolving not to fight again. Street vendors and Hawkers had suffered loss of wares, injury, deaths and displacement. The government and other stake holders under took national Peace campaigns through media public forums, road shows which created forums for discussions contentious issues thereby allaying fears. The campaigns targeted individuals who were encouraged to read, decide and vote for the preferred choice (YES/NO). KENASVIT played a big role in distributing over 10,000 copies of the proposed Kenyan constitution to Bodboda, Hawkers, Disabled persons, women and youths.

KENASVIT officials played a big role in civic education and during the referendum day street vendors were involved in voting observing and as polling clerks. The declaration of a public holiday on the referendum day enabled most to vote and the heavy and massive security presence helped a lot.

Street vendors, Hawkers and most of the informal traders in Kenya overwhelmingly supported the proposed constitution and we are eagerly awaiting the President to promulgate it in order for us to monitor its implementation.

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