Kenya deputy Speaker says Yes to draft law

April 9, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 9 – Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Farah Maalim on Friday described fellow Members of Parliament who are calling for the rejection of the proposed Constitution as dishonest.

His statement came a day after two Cabinet Ministers led 26 MPs to champion a ‘No’ vote against the draft if consensus is not reached on contentious chapters.

“When the Ayes and Nays were called out (during debate in Parliament), they did not demand for a division which only takes 15 members,” he said.

Mr Maalim said that Parliament had lost its chance to amend the draft and should now let Kenyans decide its fate the referendum. He urged Kenyans to support the Proposed Constitution when it is presented at the referendum saying that it will help end the culture of tribal chiefdoms that have dominated the political scene.

“This Constitution makes our own aspirations as politicians also irrelevant; you will no longer have the tribal or regional warlords, you cannot run for MP and at the same time run for presidency because that was initially a way of cutting deals and the President must be a person who has national appeal form all corners of this country,” he said.

The Deputy Speaker appealed for sobriety among leaders saying that subsidiary laws shall be enacted during the transitional period after the draft is enacted into law.

He said; “What we have now is a shell in the form of a Constitution… it a value document. But all these questions people are asking now are going to be covered through Acts of Parliament. So why can’t they hold their horses and let us play our roles?”

Meanwhile, Kisumu Town East MP Shakeel Shabbir has expressed support for the proposed draft constitution. Mr Shabbir said that although draft law was not perfect, it addressed a majority of concerns by Kenyans.

 “As Kisumu East MP, I am saying Yes and as a Muslim, I am saying Yes,” he declared.


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