, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 27 – Prime Minister Raila Odinga said Sunday he was not worried about the newfound GEMA unity and instead welcomed it as a major boost to the YES team spearheading the proposed constitution.
He termed reports that the group led by one of his deputies and Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta was out to overshadow his campaign strategy were “unfounded and far fetched”.
“Let it be known that the YES team does not have a leader, it has leaders, so we are not worried and we are focused on the draft constitution,” he said.
He said the move by the Gikuyu, Embu, Meru Association (GEMA) was a step in the right direction.
“As far as other people organize themselves to campaign more effectively for the YES vote, it is complimentary to what we are all trying to do. Let us not try to bring in the 2012 issue for the YES vote,” Mr Odinga told reporters after attending a church service at the All Saints Cathedral in Nairobi.
Some factions allied to the YES team have openly been expressing their frustrations claiming that they had been locked out of the campaign management by President Mwai Kibaki, the Prime Minister and Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka.
This led to Friday’s formation of a unity force by Central Kenya leaders led by Mr Kenyatta ahead of the national referendum on August 4.
“Kenya is considerably a big country, and it is to the advantage of us all when we have different groups forging a unity of purpose in the YES team,” the Prime Minister said.
In his brief remarks at the All Saints Cathedral, the PM urged the congregation to disregard rumours being peddled by the NO team and vote for the proposed constitution.
“We want to carry out a professional campaign based on facts, we don’t just want to engage in cheap propaganda like what they are saying that this draft constitution legalizes gay marriages, you ask yourself which chapter and verse of the constitution talks about gay marriages,” he asked.
Other MP’s advocating for the proposed constitution took their YES campaign to Samburu district where they continued to express their confidence in the document and its ability to sail through in the referendum vote.
Industrialization assistant minister Nderitu Mureithi, (M.P Laikipia West), Abdikair Mohammed (Mandera Central) and nominated MP Maison Leshomo said it was unfortunate that some of the leaders opposing the enactment of the new law were involved in its drafting.
“Why should someone criticize a document in which he was actively involved in drafting. These people owe Kenyans an explanation,” Mr Mureithi said.
Mr Abdikadir who is also the chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on the Constitution Review said: “We want to assure that the integrity of the process is fine and the document that will be put to the referendum is one of the best that Kenyans can have, but I don’t believe there is a way we can withhold the referendum until we all agree on one course”, he said.
The leaders spoke at the Maralal stadium in Samburu central district on Sunday during a fund raising ceremony to support various women groups from the region.