, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 9 – Rift Valley MPs who are in the Yes camp are predicting that about 45 percent of the voters in North Rift will approve of the proposed Constitution in the August 4 referendum.
The document has faced the largest opposition in the North Rift Valley where Higher Education Minister William Ruto holds sway. Several Rift Valley MPs have said they will continue pushing for the rejection of the draft because of its clauses on land and distribution of counties.
But on Friday, Energy Assistant Minister Magerer Lagat who is a proponent of the draft said there has been an increase of people supporting the Yes vote after understanding the contents of the document as compared to when the draft was first published.
"The ground is now accommodative to divergent views. We are facing challenges in the Kalenjin area whose votes total 1.5 million but are confident we will garner between 40 percent and 45 percent of the votes from the community itself," Mr Magerer said.
The MPs have also arranged major rallies to be held in Eldoret on July 16 and July 17 and at the historic Kapkatet Grounds in Kericho next week to sell the Yes message.
"We want to address the fears being spread by opponents of the proposed Constitution, for instance on land. Our campaigns will be based on facts. We are more focused and will present facts the way they are. The campaigns period starts on July 13 so we thought it was premature to begin when people had not read the document," Mr Magerer said.
He said the \’Yes\’ team had changed tact from conducting campaign rallies to holding meetings with target groups such as the youth and opinion leaders.
"We realised that the rally approach was not working due to polarisation of the region," he said.
At the same time, the Kipkelion MP has rubbished claims that MPs in the Yes Camp risk losing their seats in the 2012 elections for aligning themselves against Higher Education Minister William Ruto who is leading the No push.
Mr Lagat said: "The community does not elect leaders based on how tight he or she can hang on the coat tails of political god-fathers"