, EMBU, Kenya, Jul 27 – President Mwai Kibaki has now taken former President Moi head-on over his opposition to the proposed Constitution and urged him to keep off the debate.
The President put aside his diplomatic mien and told his predecessor to let Kenyans pass the new law that he failed to deliver during his 24-year tenure as Head of State.
Speaking in Embu, his message to Mr Moi was simple and clear: "let Kenyans decide on the new law that has eluded them for far too long."
"Some people in their old age are running all over. I feel pity for them," he said in a clear reference to the former President.
Mr Moi has in recent weeks assumed a key role in the No campaigns alongside Cabinet Minister William Ruto.
President Kibaki has had a snug relationship with Mr Moi since 2002 when he defeated his preferred successor Uhuru Kenyatta.
The Head of State criss-crossed Eastern and Central provinces as the referendum campaigns entered the final stretch. President Kibaki said he had no personal gains in pushing for the enactment of the Constitution, saying it would greatly benefit all Kenyans.
Speaking during a Yes rally at Runyenjes, the Head of State said it pains him to see some people think that he is advocating for the new law for selfish reasons.
"There are those waiting to be enticed to join us. I ask myself why anybody should be soothed," he wondered.
The President urged the church to join the rest of Kenyans in supporting the proposed Constitution, saying the issues which they do not agree with will be addressed once the constitution is passed. He said it will not be right to deny the country a new constitution because of only a few issues that can be amicably resolved once it is passed.
"Lets us not discard this good Constitution because of a few issues which can be addressed later, "President Kibaki said.
Noting that the proposed Constitution will address most of the challenges the country has faced in the past, President Kibaki commended majority of Kenyans for demonstrating their support for the document. Citing the issue of counties, President Kibaki assured the public that the number of counties will be increased once the proposed constitution is passed.
"I assure you that the number of counties will also be increased after we pass the proposed Constitution," President Kibaki said.
Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka on his part said the country needed a new Constitution and expressed confidence that all Kenyans will vote for it. The VP further pointed out that the Government was ready to talk with the church on the Constitution, saying there was no struggle between the church and the state.
Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta reiterated that the proposed Constitution would ensure that every region had sufficient funds for the development, adding that the new law will also empower the public to manage the development of their areas.
Saying the proposed Constitution will protect the rights of all Kenyans, the Deputy Prime Minister urged Kenyans not to allow the opportunity for the country to get a new Constitution pass.
Other speakers included Cooperative Minister Joseph Nyagah, Assistant Minister Cecil Mbarire and area MP Rev Mutava Musyimi among other local leaders. Also present were Cabinet minister Amos Kimunya, Members of Parliament Lenny Kivuti and Emilio Kathuri among others.