US stand on Kenya Constitution stays

July 2, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 2 – American Ambassador Michael Ranneberger has said he will continue to push for the enactment of a new Constitution in Kenya because it is the only way the country will achieve its full potential.

Mr Ranneberger said he would carry on with his tours around the country to drum up support for the new law despite accusations from opponents of the proposed Constitution that he was openly campaigning for the ‘Yes’ team.

“If you can’t stand the heat then get out of the kitchen!” he remarked.

“I will continue to travel around the country and express my views because it’s a free country the last time I checked, and we have a responsibility to express our views,” he said.

Speaking during celebrations to mark America’s Independence Day, the envoy said it was time to end the status quo for Kenya to stabilise.

The Speaker of the National Assembly Kenneth Marende said there was need to institute reform measures that would ensure freedom, security, independence of institutions and respect for the rule of law which would trickle down to economic growth.

“The Kenya National Assembly not withstanding that we are under siege, will endeavour to make its contribution to the development of this nation and I ask you to work and walk with us so that our collective mark is felt positively across the country and beyond,” Mr Marende said.

Lawmakers on Wednesday passed proposals to increase salaries and allowances of Members of Parliament and this has raised public outrage especially with the hard economic times the country is facing.

“You know Kenya is a democratic country and people are entitled to their opinions.  We have the freedom of speech and assembly enshrined in the Constitution and every Kenyan will have their opinion and it’s all allowed,” the Speaker said.

He however refused to make any further comments on the matter saying it would be in breach of the law.

“This matter is currently before Parliament and we expect about four Bills next week for debate so if I make any comments on the matter I will be in breach of the Standing Orders in respect to anticipation of debate,” Mr Marende said.


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