Kenya Set to Hold Historic Referendum on New Constitution.
Tension remains high in Kenya ahead of the 4th August referendum polls for or against the proposed draft constitution. There are two rival factions the Reds who are strongly opposed to the draft constitution citing various clauses that they claim are not human and there are the Green side that are in total agreement with the draft.
Both factions have criss-crossed the country, rallying locals to either support the draft by giving it a green light at the ballot box or by giving it a clean Red card. If the Red team wins the polls on Wednesday that means that Kenya will have to go back again to the journey they began 20 years ago for a fresh search for a new constitution.
The ‘No’ Red team, led by Higher education minister William Ruto and strongly supported by church leaders, especially those of the Catholic denominations. The Green ‘Yes’ are led by a heavily backed government allied MP’s and Ministers including the President and the Prime Minister.
The President urged politicians in the No camp to tell Kenyans the truth about the contents of the proposed Constitution instead of spreading lies on the few clauses they see as contentious.
Addressing a Yes campaign rally at Kapkatet stadium in Buret District, the Head of State said genuine leadership involved telling the truth but those discrediting the Proposed Constitution were only isolating their followers from the majority of Kenyans who cherish the truth and have resolved to support the passage of the Proposed Constitution next week.
Saying he had so far addressed 30 campaign rallies across the country, President Kibaki expressed satisfaction with Kenyans’ overwhelming support for the proposed new Constitution. The President noted that the proposed supreme law guaranteed good governance and equitable distribution of resources through devolved power to the grassroots.
“I have no doubt that the proposed Constitution which is good for the country and is supported by majority of Kenyans will be voted for overwhelmingly during the referendum,” the Head of State said. President Kibaki reaffirmed that the proposed Constitution would cater for the interests of all Kenyans without discrimination.
He said after over 20 years of elusive search for a new Constitution, a new constitutional dispensation will this time around be realized by Kenyans whom, he said, were eagerly waiting for the referendum day to endorse the new law.
During the rally attended by eleven Cabinet ministers, the Head of State reiterated his call to Kenyans who have not read the proposed Constitution to do so in order to make an informed decision during next week referendum.
President Kibaki called on both the proponents and opponents of the proposed Constitution to rise above partisan interests in view of the fact that the constitution being debated will secure the future of the nation.
Research firm Synovate indicated a 58 per cent vote in favour of the proposed constitution, while 22 per cent of Kenyans will reject the document at the August 4 referendum. A significant 17 percent have yet to make up their minds according to the two researches.
The referendum is the second of its kind in Kenya after the 2005 polls that saw the government side lead by incumbent President Mwai Kibaki loose terribly to the opposition led by the current Prime Minister Raila Odinga.
News Report By Abdulaziz Billow
Abdulaziz Billow is AfrobeatRadio’s correspondent for East Africa.