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Constitution Making and its Link to Saba Saba

Volume 17, Issue 3  | 
Published 12/12/2020
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As we undertook our research for this special issue on ‘Saba Saba’, it became increasingly obvious that there was a link between Saba Saba and the struggle for a new Constitution. While Saba Saba’s main aim was a return to political pluralism and a multi-party state, many who participated in it realized that it was just the beginning of a process to completely transform and re-write the social contract the state had made with the people of Kenya in 1963. This is the story this section tells: We have brought together documents that will give our readers a link into the real life struggle for a new constitution which culminated in the passing of the 2010 Constitution almost 20 years later.

Among the documents we found, courtesy of Davinder Lamba of the Mazingira Institute who was an active mover and participant in the review of the constitution, Kenya Mpya, Katiba Mapya published by the National Convention Executive Council in 1999. It makes remarkable reading even today and we at AwaaZ feel that perhaps in a small way this document represents our version of the ‘Freedom Charter’ of South Africa. We salute this group of dedicated persons who developed a vision for Kenya almost 20 years before its time. The other documents in this section are:

  1. A chapter on Mass struggles in Dr Willy Mutunga’s seminal book Constitution Making from the Middle whose second edition was published earlier this year.
  2. A case study of the National Convention Executive Council (NCEC) by Musambayi Katumanga.
  3. Constitution making and democratization (2000-2005) by Profs. Jill Cottrell and Yash Ghai.
  4. Constitutional Development in Kenya in 1999 by Kivutha Kibwana.

We welcome readers and activists to make use of this treasure trove of documents in their work and studies.