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Muthama: Uhuru, Raila want to create powerful posts for themselves

By Erastus Mulwa | July 21st 2019
Former Machakos Senator Johnstone Muthama now wants President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition chief Raila Odinga to declare their interest in the referendum debate. [File, Standard]

Former Machakos Senator Johnstone Muthama has challenged President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga to declare their interest in the proposed changes to the constitution.

Speaking at a funeral in Tala, Machakos County on Saturday, the outspoken politician claimed it was clear both President Kenyatta and Mr Odinga had vested interests in the proposed amendment to the law which creates the position of a powerful Prime Minister and a ceremonial President.

 Muthama warned that any effort to amend the Constitution aimed at creating positions for few individuals through a referendum will be an exercise in futility, saying such a move will not solve ethnic polarisation in the country.

 “I can say here without fear of contradiction that what Uhuru and Raila are pushing for is aimed at creating positions of Prime Minister and President for none other than themselves and if that is the route they want to take this country, I am telling them that it will not be fair to Kenyans,” said Muthama.

The former senator said inclusivity for all communities in government would not be realised through creating few political positions for individuals representing the country’s biggest ethnic communities.

 “If they want political stability in the country arising from inclusion in Government, let them create 45 positions to ensure all communities enjoy representation in Government. I will carefully gauge the proposed law and I will be proud to make history as having rejected an amendment to the Constitution which was of no help to Kenyans,” he said.

 Muthama alleged that it was the persistent clamour and crusade for such a constitutional amendment which had led to the split in the ruling party with Tangatanga and Kieleweke factions emerging.

 “The country is now split down the middle with Tangatanga and Kieleweke factions emerging. Kenyans have linked Tangatanga to Deputy President William Ruto while Kieleweke has been associated with Uhuru and Raila and as Kenyans, we are saying we do not want to witness such divisions,” said Muthama.

 The debate on the possibility of a national referendum to amend sections of the Constitution intensified mid this week after the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) said the popular initiative by Third Way Alliance leader, Ekuru Aukot had been supported by 1,222,541 registered voters.

The proposal, dubbed Punguza Mzigo initiative now requires the support of 24 county assemblies to sail through to a referendum.

Both the President and Raila are yet to make their stand known on the Aukot’s initiative.

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