, NAIROBI, Kenya Jun 28 – A consultative forum for Members of Parliament supporting the enactment of the proposed Constitution on Monday denied any divisions within its ranks as campaigns for the proposed law geared up.
The meeting – which attracted over 130 MPs – was chaired by President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga. It was called to stem apparent internal dissent in the group which threatened their efforts to push through the proposed law.
Speaking after the two-hour long meeting, President Kibaki said: “I assure the Kenyan public that the ‘Yes’ parliamentary group was united in its desire to support Kenyans in their quest for a new constitutional dispensation."
Dissatisfied MPs had called for solutions to various issues they were complaining about including lack of funds and campaign materials that was affecting their quest for a new Constitution.
There has also been growing disquiet among members from the Party of National Unity who fear that Mr Odinga could use a Yes victory at the August 4 referendum to boost his anticipated 2012 presidential bid.
President Kibaki who briefed the media for the first time said that the meeting resolved to undertake grassroots campaigns in every constituency soon after Parliament goes on recess later this week.
The forum held at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre decided to form several campaign groups in order to reach all corners of the country ahead of the August 4 referendum.
According to the secretariat co-convener Prof Anyang\’ Nyong’o, the groups will based on the 47 counties in the proposed Constitution.
"Members said that they were confident of a ‘Yes’ victory and noted the need to mobilise Kenyans to turn up in large numbers and vote for the proposed Constitution during the August 4 referendum. The leadership of the ‘Yes’ campaign shall be divided into various groups in order to effectively target all corners of the country," the President said.
The MPs committed to avoid divisive politics and to engage constructively with those opposed to the new law.
He said: "The ‘Yes’ campaign shall remain truthful to the contents of the proposed Constitution and will not be dragged into campaigns that are not dwelling on the true contents of the Katiba".
The MPs regretted that unlike ‘No’ Team, which appeared organised and ready for the campaigns, they had no funds for their rallies.
The MPs further committed to engage with those in the ‘No’ team, who have reservations on a few issues in the proposed Constitution with a view to having them support the proposed law.