, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 5 – Prime Minister Raila Odinga has called on Kenyans to critically go through the Proposed Constitution once it’s published on Thursday in order to make informed decisions at the referendum.
The Prime Minister said the main opponents of the draft are those who own large tracts of land at the expense of other Kenyans.
He on Wednesday described these personalities as “part of the problem rather than the solution to the land problem the country is facing now.”
“We now have a new land use policy as opposed to the past when land was used purely for purposes of speculation which is the cause of the problem we are trying to solve today and you can still hear those voices who are responsible for the mess making a lot of noise right now as we talk about a new Constitution,” the Prime Minister said.
He said the land chapter in the Proposed Constitution was based on a land policy document that was approved by the Cabinet and Parliament.
“It classifies land into three categories; communal land, public land and private land and all of them are fully protected under this draft Constitution. There can really be no reason why any sane person should want to shoot down this draft Constitution on the basis of land,” he said.
Mr Odinga said land should never be used for purposes of speculation where some people wait until the market rate rises to sell it.
“Land is a very precious commodity; it is a factor of production and also wealth creation so it must be made available and accessible for people who want to use it for the purposes of development,” the Premier said.
He at the same time said the government would soon develop forestry development projects that could attract international funding through the carbon market.
Mr Odinga said Kenya would take full advantage of the Sh2.3 trillion ($30 billion) that the international community pledged during climate change talks in Copenhagen last December for climate change financing.
Speaking during a meeting on the restoration of the Mau forest, he said the government also wanted to ensure that the rehabilitation of the Mau and other forests could be exploited as a source of financial resources.
“We see opportunities in the evolving carbon markets as negotiations continue under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. We are already engaged in serious discussions with investment bankers and others all of whom see real and considerable opportunities in carbon trading in our forestry development programs,” Mr Odinga said.
He said there were also opportunities in the REDD (Reduction of Emission from Deforestation and Degradation) initiative.
“I am traveling to Norway in three weeks to participate in discussions of partnership agreement which should facilitate in making REDD more readily available for Kenya and other developing countries,” he said.
He said the restoration strategy also entailed the diversification of other green sources of energy after the hydro power generation was found to be susceptible to the effects of changing weather patterns in the wake of the global phenomena.
“Our aim is to generate an additional 2,000 megawatts of power from renewable energy sources and we are well on our way,” he said.