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Raila tells off law review opponents

By Kepher Otieno | October 5th 2018

ODM leader Raila Odinga (right) with Senatorial aspirant Ochillo Ayacko and Migori county woman representative Pamella Odhiambo at Awendo market in Migori county on October 04,2018. Raila is camping in the county for two day to campaign for ODM senatorial aspirant Ochillo Ayacko in a by-election after the death of the former senator Ben Oluoch Okello. [Photo: Denish Ochieng/ Standard])

Constitutional changes to usher in a new system of governance is inevitable, Opposition leader Raila Odinga said yesterday.

At the same time, he launched a broadside against those opposed to the law review, saying that they will fail. Among those who have come out to oppose the referendum push has been Deputy President William Ruto.

The former prime minister told Kenyans to start preparing for a referendum.

“The push for a referendum is real and inevitable. Those working to scuttle the process are living in denial. It’s like the croaking of a frog that will not stop the cow from drinking water,” the former prime minister said.

The NASA leader said Kenya was ripe for a review, eight years after the promulgation of the Constitution.

“I am actually surprised that some people are opposed to constitutional changes. We must hold a referendum to seek people’s views on the quest to change the Constitution,” he added.

The Opposition leader spoke in Migori County where he led MPs, senators, governors and women representatives in campaigning for the ODM candidate in the Migori senatorial by-election Ochillo Ayacko.

He said members of the Building Bridges Initiative would soon start collecting views from Kenyans on which segments of the Constitution they wanted  reviewed.

“You cannot stop an idea whose time has come. This is a good thing. Constitutional changes will bring good things to our country,” said Raila said.

“We have experimented this Constitution for the past eight years and its time  to review it. Kenyans now know where the shoe pinches them most.”

The push for a referendum has split the country down the middle, with Deputy President Ruto and his allies opposing it.

At least five MPs have made proposals that seek radical changes in the governance structure, among them creating the position of an executive prime minister.

They have also proposed that the Senate be abolished and positions of  nominated MPs and MCAs also scrapped.

Latest proposals are by West Mugirango MP Vincent Mogaka and his Ndia counterpart George Kariuki. They want the number of Cabinet secretaries cut from 22  to 12.

“We want a good constitution that responds to the needs of the people,” Raila said.

Yesterday, ODM leaders who accompanied Raila said they were pushing for the amendment of the Constitution through a popular initiative.

They backed Raila, saying if sections of the laws were not working, then Kenyans should repeal them.

“There is no essence in insisting that we retain the current Constitution if some sections are flawed,” Suna East MP Junet Mohamed said.

He sensationally claimed that the Migori by-election was not about Mr Ayacko’s opponents but about the Deputy President, who had been making forays in the county.

Junet claimed that Ruto and the top leadership in Migori County were working closely to end ODM’s dominance in the region.

Raila said they would not allow insincere people in the party. He said political parties were run like religion, attracting only people with similar piety.

“If You are a Catholic, you devout to it, if you are a Seventh Day Adventist follower or Roho Israel faithful, then you stick to your faith. But you cannot serve two masters,” said Raila.

The Migori senate seat fell vacant after the death of senator Ben Oluoch Okello.

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