Thursday, November 17, 2005
Politics and the promised land
The Kenyan government is promising land to rural squatters throughout the country, in an effort to win their support for a new constitution that would reduce democracy, The East African Standard reports. The proposed constitution, up for a vote on Monday, Nov. 21, would consolidate power in the office of the president. A constitutional review commission had suggested a more democratic structure, requiring the president to share some powers with parliament and the judiciary. The governing National Rainbow Coalition split over the proposal. President Mwai Kibaki and his allies want to keep centralized power. Opponents within the government suggest that the plan is a power grab and will return the nation to the dictatorial strongman tradition of former president Daniel arap Moi.