, GATUNDU, Kenya, Jul 29 – Higher Education Minister William Ruto on Thursday raided the Gatundu backyard of Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta to drum up support for the rejection of the proposed Constitution.
Mr Ruto addressed a major rally in the town urging the residents to reject the draft claiming the envisaged 47 counties advances inequality in the country.
“We want the number of counties rectified, as we do not want a case in which this county of Kiambu has over a million people while another one has just 100,000 residents,” he said.
Mr Ruto who is the de facto political leader of the No camp said populated regions like Kiambu will be disadvantaged compared to the vast areas if the new law sails through.
“If we say Kiambu will elect on senator, one governor and one Speaker of regional assembly and the other that has just 80,000 the same number of leaders then that is legislating inequality,” Mr Ruto added.
The Eldoret North MP accompanied by other politicians in the No camp exuded confidence that Kenyans will shoot down the draft Constitution during next Wednesday’s referendum.
He told the residents not to feel bound to pass what he called as a ‘fraud Constitution’ to honour President Mwai Kibaki.
“By voting No you are not rejecting a new constitution but rather giving the country an opportunity to correct the wrongs in this draft,” he said adding: “What we actually want when the President leaves office in 2012, is that he will have delivered a uniting constitution.”
The area is in Mr Kenyatta’s Gatundu South constituency who is leading the Yes Campaign in the Central Province and the Reds entry is seen as an attempt to test waters in the area.
While ending his speech Mr Ruto asked: “What should I tell your Mutongoria (area leader in Kikuyu) when I see him?”
The crowd shouted: “We are voting No!”
The No team is also opposed to the provisions of the Lands chapter which it claims could re-open old wounds of the perennial land clashes especially in the Rift valley. The politicians are opposed to the powers given to the yet-to-be created Land Commission which can institute proceedings to address historical land injustices.
Also opposed to the new law, Church leaders have taken issue with the inclusion of Kadhis’ courts and a clause that they claim leaves a loophole for the legalisation of abortion.