, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 18 – The government has been cited as insincere for failing to include ministers who campaigned against the new Constitution in the Cabinet Implementation Committee that was formed on Tuesday.
Former Assistant Minister Jackson Kiptanui who was sacked in a mini Cabinet reshuffle on Monday, said the government appeared bent on locking out the No team from the implementation process, contrary to an earlier pledge.
A meeting between President Mwai Kibaki, Prime Minister Raila Odinga and MPs from the Grand Coalition parties had pledged to involve the No team in the Constitution implementation process.
“I’m not bitter because I have been replaced but I wish to say that I’m disappointed because the two Principals had promised several times that no one would be victimised but as you have seen it seems like there is a systematic way of replacing those who were opposed to the proposed Constitution,” he said.
Mr Kiptanui, who was an Assistant Minister for Environment and Natural Resources said that he had no regrets whatsoever for choosing to campaign against the new Constitution.
“I took time to read and understand the proposed Constitution; it was therefore my democratic right based on my personal convictions and those of my constituents to oppose the document and to rally them to vote No overwhelmingly. I have no apologies for the position I took,” he stated.
The Keiyo South Member of Parliament further maintained that those who were against the new law would continue pushing for amendments.
“I shall remain steadfast in representing my constituents with zeal and we shall press on our calls for changes on the contentious issues – of course within the framework of the Constitution – and the laws of the land,” he added.
He was replaced at the docket by Prof Margaret Kamar.
“I have not yet received official communication to that effect but I think that’s how the government operates sometimes. I have handed over to the PS as the new assistant minister comes in. I believe she will come shortly. She is welcome,” he said.
A number of Kenyans interviewed by Capital News supported the government’s move to keep out the No team from the Cabinet committee on implementation.
Some were of the view that working with those who were against the new laws would derail or slow down the implementation process.
“They should be kept out completely. What guarantee do we have that they are going to work towards the same direction? They can work with the Yes people from without but they don’t deserve a place,” said one Kenyan.
Others however thought the government should have included members of the Red team in the implementation committee.
“We should all work as a team. The President and Prime Minister should have kept their promise to help the country move forward as one. They are also Kenyans who will be governed by the new laws,” said another.
The government on Tuesday formed a 16-member Cabinet committee on implementation which only included those who were campaigning for the new constitution.