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Kenya MPs downplay US visa ban

NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 27 – A group of parliamentarians led by Garsen MP Danson Mungatana on Tuesday downplayed the travel ban by the US to a top government official saying Kenya had more important things to focus on.

Speaking during a breakfast meeting where the parliamentarians engaged the United States Business Community, Mr Mungatana said Kenyans should focus their attention on getting constitutional reforms and not on governance issues between different states.

“Our Constitution and our reforms are totally different from government actions with the US, Tanzania, Uganda or whatever. Kenyans want reforms and we will focus and succeed in giving them the reforms,” he stated.

Mr Mungatana took issue with parliamentarians who had a habit of issuing threats and ultimatums that barred constitutional progress terming them as a ‘stumbling block’.

“Instead of ruffling feathers with the US or other governments we will ruffle feathers with those anti-reformists, those anti constitutional people. We are determined to make sure that this time the reforms do not fail. The Constitution will succeed,” he strongly stated.

He declared that parliamentarians who had been issuing such conditions would be required to tone down their speech.

“We have cautioned every Member of Parliament who has been issuing statements that seem to put some form of doubt in the way of receiving a new constitution and we hope we will see less of that,” he held.

He also called for dialogue in matters where different views on constitutional reforms came up saying that the famous Orange and Banana antics would not be used.

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“One of the reasons that derailed the last Constitution was the campaign by Parliament. This time the campaign will be different to make sure it succeeds. So where there are difficulties, we will talk with each other until we reach a consensus out of reason,” he explained.

Mr Mungatana also asked Kenyans to remain calm and patient until the delivery of a new Constitution.

“Every time a baby is born there is usually some instability but at the end of the day you get a good product. So let us not worry too much about these talks by some parliamentarians. We believe we will get a good constitution,” he assured.

President Mwai Kibaki recently reassured Kenyans that constitutional reforms were underway with hopes that it would be ready by next year. However various groups of people have raised concerns over the constitution with some calling for minimum reforms with others fearing that this could distract the comprehensive review.


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