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Rift leaders call for referendum in 2020

By Jacob Ng'etich | December 7th 2019 at 12:00:00 GMT +0300

The leaders, who met at Maasai Lodge, Kajiado County, called for an all-inclusive committee of experts comprising individuals with firm legal background to give Kenyans a final document.

 

A group of leaders from the Rift Valley yesterday proposed that a referendum be held by August next year to effect the changes proposed in the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report. 

 

Former Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto, Cherangany MP Joshua Kutuny and Kajiado East MP Peris Tobiko, among others, called for the naming of committee of experts to facilitate the collection of signatures and oversee the presentation of a constitutional amendment Bill to the relevant bodies including County Assemblies ahead of the national referendum.

The leaders, who met at Maasai Lodge, Kajiado County, called for an all-inclusive committee of experts comprising individuals with firm legal background to give Kenyans a final document.

“We want to have a people-driven process that is well-prepared as this will ensure that BBI report is handled to help Kenyans enjoy inclusivity and unity,” Mr Ruto said.

Ruto called on the Executive and Parliament to quickly enact a referendum law and speed up reforms at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission to ensure that it is properly constituted to handle the referendum. 

The 16 MPs and former legislators who were in the meeting also registered their concerns about the state of the economy, which they said was doing well. They appealed to the president to constitute an economic recovery team to steer the country out of the current economic situation.

“We are proposing that the government urgently reviews existing economic policies to ensure that enough money is in circulation for small and medium enterprises to thrive,” Ruto said.

As part of putting money in Kenyans’ pockets, the group said that President Uhuru Kenyatta should not relent in compelling national government and county governments to clear all pending bills owed to women, youth, small and medium enterprises and contractors.

“We ask the president to direct that all pending Bills be cleared before Christmas to enable Kenyans enjoy Christmas and pay school fees for students joining Form One as well as cater for medical expenses,” Kutuny said.

The leaders also spoke about agriculture, taxation and government appointments. The asked for the opening of the cereals stores, banning of milk imports and bailing out Kenya Meat Commission.

Kutuny said the government should suspend with immediate effect importation of milk powder to cushion farmers from cheap imports.

“We appeal to the president to direct the Treasury to release Sh2 billion urgently to help stabilise milk prices that have seen a litre drop to Sh20,” Kutuny said.

The meeting also threw its weight behind Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) Secretary General Wilson Sossion over his push and pull with Teachers Service Commission.

“We demand the government steps in to end the persistent wrangles between TSC and Knut for the sake of our children and better working environment for teachers,” Ms Tobiko said.


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