It was my legal opinion last Sunday that Parliament has no power to do two things. The first is that Parliament cannot destroy the basic features and the essential character of the Constitution. Secondly, Parliament cannot repeal the Constitution.
Parliament now suggests that it can give itself the right to repeal the Constitution. When Parliament was created in 1963, the makers of the Constitution in their wisdom decided that the House should not have the power to repeal our Constitution. They gave Parliament the power to amend it.
The purpose of amendment is to keep the Constitution relevant to successive generations of Kenyans. The political ideals that created the Kenyan nation must remain the same because they are the foundations of the country. But Parliament can change a few things in the Constitution so the current generation can express their political ideals. But Parliament cannot change the ideals.
Our generation has inherited a constitution that was fought for against colonizers and for which the blood of freedom fighters was shed. What right do we have to say that what our forefathers did is not good enough for future generations?
We do have the right to amend the Constitution to make it relevant to our generation, but we have no right to change the gift that the delegates at Lancaster bequeathed to all Kenyans, then and in the future. That is why hose delegates limited the power of Parliament.
For two decades now we have made the Constitution a play toy. We once outlawed opposition. We then abolished the securities of tenure. The first Parliament was particularly notorious about constitution amendments. Today we curse them. I think our children will equally curse us if we are not careful about what we are doing.
The current Parliament represents only our generation. It should not make decisions that make future generations miss out on the gift of our forefathers. That is why it was denied the power to do so. Any attempt to alter that situation is high treason.