, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 9 – A National Rebirth Conference which was to be held in July has been put off indefinitely due to its politicisation, State House Spokesman Manoah Esipisu has said.
Esipisu said the conference which was a joint effort between the Executive, Private Sector and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) – including the United Nations – was to be a National Dialogue Conference of a sort and expressed regret that it had to be put off due to a lack of support from some quarters.
“This conference was an extremely important conference, and it would have been great if it was to be supported by all Kenyans. This conference was about all of us – it was about the Kenya we want to see in the next 50 years,” he explained.
He said the purpose of the conference was to set a social transformation agenda for the country in line with Article 10 of the Constitution which deals with National Values and Principles of Governance.
“The National Rebirth Conference was initiated by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Kenya, Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta in January 2014 as part of the Government’s Social Transformation Agenda,” he said.
Among those who were to participate in the conference either as speakers or panellists includes former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka who have called a conference of their own in July.
“We were also keen to get every Kenyan to understand what the Social Transformation Agenda was about – and were to soon roll out a national campaign to inform, educate and call for the participation of the public in the Social Transformation Agenda,” Esipisu said.
The dialogue Odinga and Kalonzo have called for however is intended to deal with the issues of insecurity, devolution, corruption, government appointments and most controversially the re-constitution of the Independent Boundaries and Electoral Commission (IEBC).
President Kenyatta has however ruled out the possibility of such a conference saying the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD), led by Odinga, should channel their grievances through Parliament.
Members of Parliament allied to his Jubilee Coalition have however invited Odinga and Kalonzo over to State House, “for tea,” but were categorical that talk of the reconstitution of IEBC is off the table.
“The so-called national dialogue initiative in my opinion is about the President having a cup of tea with some other people. Not on IEBC, because on IEBC the roadmap is in the Constitution. So if you want to have a dialogue with the honourable Uhuru Kenyatta, honourable William Ruto, I can tell you for free that one of your agenda should not be the IEBC,” the Leader of the Majority in the National Assembly Aden Duale made clear.
READ: We’ll engage CORD in Parliament – Jubilee
CORD has however threatened to take their grievances to the streets, through protests, should President Kenyatta’s government fail to meet their demands for a ‘Saba Saba’ conference on July 7.
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