Row rages over Kenya Constitution debacle

May 14, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 14 – Politicians in the No camp maintain that the August referendum should be suspended and legal means explored to address the printing of an illegal draft alongside the proposed Constitution.

Higher Education Minister William Ruto objected “the damage control by the government” saying suspending the printing of the fake draft was not legally satisfactory. Mr Ruto said the review process had suffered credibility which could not be solved through directives.

“The reality is we have two drafts circulating. They should own up and allow us to look for a legal and constitutional way to address the matter so that we move I accordance with the law and the constitution,” said the Eldoret North MP who is emerging as the political chief campaigner of the No camp.

“You cannot dismiss that all this that happened was an error. It was not an error.”

Attorney General Amos Wako on Wednesday admitted that the Government Printer had produced two different drafts but said he had ordered the stoppage of the illegal draft. He said the draft was mysteriously amended at the printer but added that the binding document was the legitimate one as passed by Parliament.

A special team of investigators has been established to probe how the Government Printer produced the two contentious documents. The illegal document said to be in circulation concurrently with the authentic one has amended section 24 (1) (d) to limit the Bill of Rights in cases of “prejudice to national security.”

Mr Ruto and his group launched their attack on Wednesday calling for the suspension of the August 4 referendum over the hitch, but this was resisted by the AG and the Parliamentary Caucus for reforms.

Government spokesman Alfred Mutua joined the fray on Thursday saying the government would not suspend the referendum since the hitch had been rectified.

Garsen MP Danson Mungatana led five MPs in accusing the No team of working with enshrined systems within the Executive to derail the review process.

Responding to the accusations, Mr Ruto who wants ongoing investigations done transparently and expeditiously said individuals in his team are ready to be investigated over the matter following allegations they may have had a hand in the racket.

Chepalungu MP Isaac Ruto backed the Eldoret MP maintaining that as late as Friday morning the fake document was still in circulation.

“I met an MP in a radio station doing civic education using the wrong document without knowing. She discovered it when I asked her to check,” he said.


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