Personal interestRuto warned politicians against using the clamour for constitutional changes for personal interest. He said renewed push for a referendum should be people-centered and not aimed at satisfying personal agenda. Addressing two separate church gatherings in Narok County, Ruto welcomed Punguza Mizigo and Building Bridges Initiative calls to change the Constitution, but cautioned the proponents of both initiatives to be objective and truthful. "The talk around the referendum should be carried out in an objective manner, devoid of deceit and done for the interest of all Kenyans, not for selfish interests," he said.
Violent competitionThe Third Way Alliance has defended the single seven-year presidential term, arguing that it will end violent competition for presidency, and stop looting by an incumbent fighting to finance reelection campaign. "The proposed one seven-year term limit will end the “do or die” culture of re-election. There is an established violence trend in all our electoral cycles when the incumbent seeks re-election," the Bill states. "There is accelerated theft of public money in the last two years of a first term presidency because of the need to finance re-election," it adds. "One term will also stop the cyclical economic meltdown witnessed during 1992, 1997, 2007, and 2017 elections," the Bill argues. Tiaty MP William Kassait Kamket (Kanu) has also sponsored a Bill to amend the Constitution to limit the presidency to a one seven-year term in office. Over the weekend, Ruto's camp kept up its opposition to the BBI as the task-force wound up public hearings and retreated to compile its report to be submitted to President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila, who named the team following their March 9, 2018 truce. Soy MP Caleb Kositany accused the BBI team of pursuing selfish interests. Mr Kositany said it was suspicious that people who supported the 2010 Constitution had changed tune and started calling for changes in the same law. “The Constitution should be changed based on the views of Kenyans and not because of individual interests. Some of us had suggested we amend the 2010 Constitution and others now calling for changes insisted that we pass it without amendments,” Kositany said. Uasin-Gishu Woman Representative Gladys Shollei accused the BBI team of wasting time in five-star hotels instead of collecting views from ordinary Kenyans and their leaders. Mrs Shollei said the BBI task-force should have reviewed the contentious issues raised by Kenyans during the writing of the 2010 Constitution. “Don’t pretend to go round the country, meeting in five-star hotels and telling us you want to review the Constitution," she said. Uasin-Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago took issue with the BBI team, claiming it did not take views from leaders in his county. Mr Mandago said governors were plotting to introduce another referendum campaign that would be dubbed Ugatuzi (devolution) to push for more resources to devolved units.
County governments“As county governments, we are not on BBI and Punguza Mizigo groups. We are now bringing forth our referendum called Ugatuzi because we have been frustrated by Parliament. Ours will increase resources to counties,” the governor said. Separately, National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale appeared to break ranks with Ruto's camp, insisting he would support a parliamentary system of government to avoid violence every election year. “I am going to convince the President and deputy President and membership of Jubilee Party to support the parliamentary system,” he said. Separately, Amani National Congress Party leader Musalia Mudavadi has opposed the Punguza Mizigo’s recommendation to reduce the number of constituencies to lower the wage bill. Speaking at St Mary’s Vokoli Girl’s Secondary School yesterday, the former Deputy Prime Minister said the real burden for Kenyans was theft from public coffers and not the number of constituencies. [Reporting by Stephen Rutto, Abdimalik Hajir, Jack Murima, Timothy Makutoh and Robert Kiplagat]