LOYALTY TO THE STATE
While everybody knows that their rights as citizens of the State are enshrined and protected in a written Constitution which cannot be amended save by the decision of the people themselves, few enough people ever pay attention to the Constitution,
“Fidelity to the nation and loyalty to the State are fundamental political duties of all citizens. “
This means that our fundamental political duty as citizens is to owe our allegiance to the Kenyan nation and to give our loyalty to the free independent Kenyan state that our grandfathers and grandmothers fought for, shaped and built over two decades.
“Loyalty to the state “is not often spoken of in current political discourse. It means loyalty to the Constitution – President – loyalty to the country and the rule of the law; loyalty to the laws we have chosen through our institutions to abide by.
While people clamour for the recognition and enforcement of their constitutional and legal rights, there is a remarkable absence of public commentary about fulfilling our correlative duty of loyalty to the state- that citizens uphold the law and pay their taxes, not campaigning to boycott taxes or seeking to control our media while paying taxes to foreign states in preference to the Kenyan state.
But there is also the question of loyalty to the State’s institutions – those who hold constitutional office such as the president, are entitled to receive our loyalty in that capacity precisely because the presidency is not just about the person but a symbol of our unity and Democracy whether you voted for the person occupying it or not.
We are not speaking here to blind loyalty or unquestioning submission or of obsequious deference. Our constitution is based on the sovereignty of the people. The people choose their representatives through the ballot box. The constitution itself is the expression of the will of the people and can only be changed by the people. It acknowledges that the people are, in the last analysis , the decision makers in the Kenyan state. The Constitution puts it, the people are entitled ‘” to designate the rulers of the state and in the final appeal to decide all questions of national policy, according to the requirements of the common good”.
We should, accordingly, remind ourselves that those whom we elect as “rulers” are chosen by us and are trustees for us of our individual mandates as citizens expressed through the ballot box.