8m draft copies for rural Kenyans

November 26, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 26 – Justice, National Cohesion and Constitutional Affairs Minister Mutula Kilonzo says the government will distribute eight million copies of the harmonised draft constitution.

In a ministerial statement made to Parliament on Thursday, Mr Kilonzo said marginalised areas will begin receiving copies on Friday through the use of police and military helicopters that will airlift the document to far flung areas.

Moyale, Lungulungu, Lokichogio, Kakuma, Tana River Isebani, are among the areas to be touched by the operation.

“The committee is in the process of facilitating this through nationwide courier service and other distribution points,” he said and urged Kenyans to make their views known to the Committee of Experts (CoE) on Constitutional Review.

“But it is not enough to write to newspapers, to speak on radio; take a piece of paper and write,” said the Minister.

The Minister further ruled out the possibility of two drafts being presented for a referendum as has been suggested in some quarters.

“There is no merit for a Yes-Yes vote. This debate would justify the view that Kenyans should be balkanised and then harden their positions on contentious issues; Kenyans should vote for the draft on its own merit.”

“It is a Harmonised Draft, which means the committee looked at the Kilifi draft, the Wako draft, the Naivasha Accord, the current constitution and above all they looked at all the written memoranda that Kenyans sent forth,” he said, although stressing that he still had reservations with regards to the draft constitution.

Mr Kilonzo said the 30 days set for Kenyans to go through the draft would also not be extended, as the country could not afford to buy more time in order to get a new constitution.

“These 30 days were for those people or groups who were so keen on particular positions that they cared to write memoranda to the experts’ team. It is those people who have 30 days to be able to look into what they were suggesting whether it has been included.”


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