Kenya VP calls for decorum

May 16, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 16 – Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka has called for decorum and decency in the referendum campaigns.

Mr Musyoka said the campaigns should be peaceful and devoid of name calling, noting that Kenyans should tolerate one another for the sake of democracy and the country.

“There is no place where the youths should be hired to heckle leaders who are out to popularize the draft constitution,” he added.

The Vice President was reacting to Saturday\’s Yes campaign where parts of the crowd heckled him forcing him to cut short his address.

He noted that when it happens the public will lose trust with the Constitution and instead they are treated to side shows.

Mr Musyoka called on leaders to respect the rights of others to express themselves, saying it was a principle of democracy.

The Vice President made the remarks on Saturday night at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, before he left for the 14th Summit of G15 countries in Iran, where he will represent President Mwai Kibaki.

The summit that starts on Monday brings together senior representatives and policy makers from Asian, African and Latin American states.

Mr Musyoka said the country was getting into combative referendum politics, adding that politicians were personalising campaign meetings in order to settle personal scores.

The Vice President, who is also the party leader of ODM-Kenya, said the party was the most dominant in Machakos and dismissed claims that he had sent anybody with greetings to the  ‘No’ meeting.

“We are in the ‘Yes’ Camp. We think it is necessary to have a new Constitution. It is the best document ever to get. It’s never easy to make a Constitution,” Mr Musyoka added.

He said the views expressed by ODM-K Chairman, Samuel Poghisio, who is also the Minister for Information and Communication were personal and not the party’s position.

Mr Musyoka urged Kenyans to persevere in the ‘Yes’ campaign and not give up but match on until the new Constitution is achieved.

“It’s a Constitution moment, if abandoned we will live miserably. Ignore the side shows in order to succeed,” he added.

At the same time, Mr Musyoka said the PNU coalition is consulting to have the ‘Yes’ campaign separately.

He regretted the heckling at Uhuru Park, saying it had been planned.

Mr Musyoka said it was wrong to misuse the youths and wondered why the hecklers were not reprimanded for their actions.

The Kenyan delegation to Iran included Manyatta MP Emilio Kathuri and nominated MP, Amb Mohamed Affey among other dignitaries.


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