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The Fact-finding Mission to Kenya on the constitution review process (Sept 2001) was conceived out of genuine concern for East Africa as a region, and the need to offer regional support to Kenya to succeed in its noble quest for progressive constitutional change. The primary objectives of the mission were to provide a mechanism and neutral forum for self reflection and critical debate and to use Kituo cha Katiba's(KcK) regional placement as a conduit of negotiation between government and civil society.
The Mission held meetings with various people including Ministers, religious leaders, civil society groups, leaders of political parties, academia, the media, the donor community and the Kenya Constitution Review Commission. The Mission emphasised the importance of a people driven constitution-making process, necessitating a process of nation-wide civic education and consultations and a democratically elected Constituent Assembly to debate the views collected. This warrants, the imperative of sufficient time, financial resources and freedom of speech and assembly.
The Mission further underscored the need for the Commission to work as a team in professionally discharging its national duty to the people of Kenya. The Fact Finding Mission to Kenya has been appreciated as one of KcK's most important achievements, since inception. The mission to Kenya was headed by The Chairperson of the Uganda Constitutional Review Commission, Prof. Frederick Ssempebwa.
Following the constitutional impasse in Kenya characterised by suspicions and sharp divisions amongst political factions, and in the wake of the upcoming December 2007 elections, KcK sent another mission team to Kenya in June 2007 to provide a neutral forum amongst stakeholders to generate consensus on and commitment to acceptable minimum standards necessary for ensuring that the elections would be peaceful. The Team headed by Hon. Justice Joseph Warioba a former Justice of the East African Court of Justice (EACJ) and former Tanzanian Prime Minister, met with various stakeholders including government officials, officials of the Electoral Commission, religious leaders, women, youth, civil society representatives etc.
The Mission team noted the need for constructive dialogue and a clear demonstration of political will by the Kenyan government; and need to address the underlying currents of ethnic issues that are likely to undermine reforms in Kenya. The Team recommended that the constitutional review process be embarked on after the December 2007 elections to give ample time for deeper reflection on whatever proposals there may be for the new constitution.
The mission team comprised the following members: Hon. Justice Joseph Warioba (Tanzania) former Judge of the East African Court of Justice in Arusha, Tanzania; former Judge of the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea in Hamburg, Germany; member of the Board of Trustees of the Mwalimu Nyerere Foundation; president of the Governing Board of the International Ocean Institute and former Prime Minister of the United Republic of Tanzania; Prof. Saida Yahya-Othman (Tanzania Zanzibar) Associate professor, Department of Foreign Languages and Linguistics, and Director of Research and Publications, University of Dar es Salaam; Fr. Albert B. Byaruhanga (Uganda), Member of the Uganda Joint Christian Council and executive board member of the Inter-Religious Council, Kampala; Hon. Sarah Bagalaaliwo (Uganda), former member of the East African Legislative Assembly and Board member of Kituo cha Katiba; and Ms. Caroline Murimi, Programme Officer, Kituo cha Katiba (KcK).