Thursday, November 26, 2009


A learned friend was trying to clear up the harmonized draft constitution for me, specifically the contentious issue of power sharing between the President and the Prime Minister. I had looked up my dictionary to try and understand what is the difference between Head of State and Head of government and it turned out that the 'government controls the state'. Another definition indicated that they mean the same thing.

So my friend took the onus of educating me and the way he did it, he made sure that I understood that I am as sharp as a potato chip when it comes to matters of state and government. He used the following illustration;

The new constitution proposes that the people desiring to be President would go out as hunters to hunt for game (votes) and whoever brought home the gazelle or dikdik (majority votes) would become president while the one who brought more hares (MPs) would be the Prime Minister. The President would however give half the gazelle or dikdik to the Prime Minister because he brought more hares to the August house and he would become the Head of government while the President would become the Head of State. The President would be rewarded by being honoured to lead the greyhound brigade and officiate National holidays. The Prime Minister would run our lives including that of the President. I am not sure the above illustration cleared up the harmonized draft constitution. If anything it has only helped to confuse me more.

On the referendum, my learned friend continued with another dramatic illustration . He wanted me to rely solely on my memory of Likoni this time without the ferries. This to me is similar to asking me to imagine my life without me. Likoni without the ferries? At this point I understood why I did not become a lawyer - I am not given to strange imaginations.

Then he asked me to imagine that Japanese Engineers had built a bridge connecting Likoni to Mombasa and I couldn't help asking, "You mean the Japs can pull such a stunt?", obviously interrupting my thought process and I had to go back and start imagining Likoni all over again. This illustration proved to be harder to understand than the hunting one because I had experience hunting all sorts of antelopes when I was growing up on the slopes of the Aberdares. Bored by my lack of imagination, my learned friend asked me whether we would ask to vote for the bridge or not. I thought 'Why not, we could vote on whether the Japs used the right kind of cement.' Then I remembered we had argued earlier about whether it was in order for women to advertise cement on TV and the argument had almost broken our friendship and so I answered 'No' mostly to dissuade him from wearing me out with a third illustration on cement.

The CoE has produced the harmonized draft constitution and I, (who even after two indepth illustrations of the draft constitution still have absolutely no idea whatsoever about what it is all about)I am supposed to vote for or against it. Come on! And without my nose in the air, I have scored slightly above average in an intelligence test. Guess what will happen with the average and below average and those in the continuum to the left.

We shall leave them at the mercies of some politicians who describe the draft constitution as a 'Two Headed Monster With Two Centres of Power'. The same politicians who are now going for(according to Hon. Soita Shitanda)Kshs2000, much less than a bag of potatoes.

I am out of this constitution debate to grab a bite because just as so many of my fellow 'Wanjiku's' have stated, what good is a harmonized draft constitution on an empty stomach?