Kenyan PM, VP rally for draft

March 29, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 29 – Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka and Prime Minister Raila Odinga on Monday continued to drum up support for the Proposed constitution expressing confidence it will sail through Parliament.

Speaking in Machakos Mr Musyoka urged parliamentarians to shelf their self-interests and ensure that the Draft constitution is passed even if they are unable to strike a consensus on all issues.

Mr Musyoka said Kenyans will not take anything short of new constitution and added that parliamentarians could later amend any clauses.

“There is no clause that the house cannot later amend and therefore we should pass this Constitution and give Kenyans what they have been yearning for all this time,” Mr Musyoka told the public when he made a stop-over at Machakos town.

On his part, Mr Odinga allayed fears that Members Parliament could derail the review process due to vested interests and divergence of opinion over some clauses in the document.

He assured Kenyans that parliamentarians will no longer solely influence and manipulate the outcome of the review process as such rights were bestowed on the vote of majority Kenyans during the coming constitutional referendum.

“Parliament doesn’t have the final say on the Constitution because even if the floated amendment sailed through the House, the Committee of Experts is obligated to verify the proposed changes,“ he said.

He added that the August House was not the final organ in the exercise but could only propose amendments whose possible placement in the draft document was subject to determination by the Committee of Experts.

Mr Odinga allayed the concerns at Treasury offices during a press conference after receiving Prof Rajmohan Gandhi a visiting grandson of the legendary Indian spiritual Leader Mahatma Gandhi.

He said conflicting views over some section of the draft was not unique but healthy for true democratic society and expressed optimism that a constitutional dispensation was inevitable.

On the raging quest for trial of the perpetrators of the 2007 Post Election violence, the Premier said consultations were underway to revive and possibly paraphrase a related bill for establishment of a local tribunal.

“We may bring back the bill which the house rejected to establish the tribunal to try those found culpable of election related offenses,” he said.


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