Aukot, the man who caught Kenya’s parties napping with Punguza Mizigo bill

By Pascal Sala On Sun, 4 Aug, 2019 16:05 | 2 mins read
Thirdway Alliance Kenya Party leader Ekuru Aukot is free to push for Constitutional change, the IEBC said on Thursday, July 18. [PHOTO | COURTESY]
Thirdway Alliance Kenya Party leader Ekuru AukotPhoto/File
Editor's Review

    Dr Aukot recently caught Kenya's main political parties unawares after collecting enough signatures to trigger debate on his referendum bill.

Dr Ekuru Aukot, 47, has been a household name for many years. He was thrust into the limelight when he served as a director in the defunct Committee of Experts that drafted the 2010 Constitution.

The Thirdway Alliance Kenya party leader holds a doctorate degree from the University of Warwick UK and is a sought after expert on law and governance matters in Africa.

Dr Aukot, who contested and lost in the 2017 presidential elections, recently caught Kenya’s main political parties unawares after collecting enough signatures to trigger debate on his Punguza Mizigo referendum push.

He has been fighting for better governance from the periphery but has gained following for fighting for marginalised communities and the “little people.”

Drafting 2010 Constitution

The 2007/2008 post-election violence that rocked Kenya, leaving over 1,000 dead and hundreds of thousands displaced, was a turning point for the country.

The truce that followed formation of the grand coalition government was anchored several conditions, chief among them promulgation of a new Constitution.

Dr Aukot’s knowledge and expertise in constitutional law earned him a spot on the team that drafted the 2010 Constitution, a goal they achieved.

While the 2010 Constitution was not a perfect document, the Thirdway Alliance Kenya party boss counts is among his achievements.

After his role in the writing of Kenya’s 2010 Constitution, Mr Aukot landed a consulted for two US-based corporations as a senior advisor in October 2010.

He was also involved in the formulation of policies to transform Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) into a modern military force and planning for the government of the new Republic of South Sudan in Juba. 

Selecting IEBC bosses

In 2010, Mr Aukot was appointed by President Mwai Kibaki and the then Prime Minister Raila Odinga to chair the seven-member Selection Panel that recruited first commissioners of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission.

University lecturer

In his spare time, the governance expert teaches constitutional and administrative law. He has previously taught a the University of Warwick, UK and Kenya School of Law.

He has taught at the School of Law at the University of Nairobi and the East African School on Refugees and Humanitarian Affairs.

He also edited the African Section of the Refugee Law Reader.

Constitutional review

Since 2010, Dr Aukot has travelled extensively to speak on Kenya’s constitution building process.

Among countries he has visited are: Egypt, Tunisia, South Sudan, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Ukraine, Germany, the Hague, and the United States.

He also also served as the chief technical advisor in the Liberian Constitution Review Committee.