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Referendum is dangerous for the country: Meru leaders

DP Ruto has changed tune and says he supports the referendum, but wants process hastened. Photo/DPPS.

MERU, Kenya Oct 7 – A cross section of leaders from Mt Kenya region have warned that the proposed review of the constitution needs to be approached with caution, because it risks dividing the country.

Speaking at a prayer service at St Nicholas AIPCA in Central Imenti Constituency on Sunday, Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi and several Members of Parliament in the company of Deputy President William Ruto said any changes in the constitution should be informed by Kenyans and their needs.

“Referendum is a dangerous thing. It divides communities. The skirmishes we had in 2007/2008 were the ripples of the 2005 referendum,” said Murungi, a day after Ruto changed tune and asked for the date and question for the referendum to be set.

He had been opposing the referendum agitated by his arch-rival NASA leader Raila Odinga.

Murungi observed that with his wealth of experience in constitutional making, huge resources might be consumed without the changes in law having a positive impact on the lives of many Kenyans.

“The process should not be about creating more seats. It should be informed by public interest. That is why we want those agitating for these changes to sit down and harmonise what should or should not be included in the constitution,” said Ruto.

The Deputy President added that Kenyans would not allow creation of more positions.

“We have worked hard to bring Kenyans together. This unity has been the foundation of the development we are pushing in Kenya today,” he said.

Among other leaders, the Deputy President was accompanied by MPs Moses Kirima (Central Imenti), Rahim Dawood (North Imenti), Mpuri Aburi (East African Legislative Assembly), Rindikiri Murwethania (Buuri) and Halima Mucheke (Nominated).

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They said Kenyans would be divided on tribal and party lines.
Ruto said the ongoing discussions on the referendum would not distract the government from pushing forward its development agenda.

“We are intensifying power connectivity in Meru region. Since 2013, more than 95,000 households have benefited from the Last Mile project. We expect another 30,000 to be connected soon,” said Ruto.

With his unrivaled development record, Murungi told the congregation that Ruto was best suited to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2022.

“We have no other leader so far who can outcompete the Deputy President in his quest to transforming Kenya. So referendum or no referendum, William Ruto will be Kenya’s next president,” said the Meru County Boss.

Kirima and Aburi warned that Kenyans risked losing impetus on development with referendum.

Kirima called on leaders to unite and work together in uplifting the living standards of the poor.
“Let us not push for changes in laws just to display our supremacy. We must assess the current one, check gaps, then agree on the way forward.”

Aburi said Kenya should not go into a referendum because some leaders wanted to get power.

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