Leaders urge IEBC to stick to polls timelines
By Kennedy Gachuhi and Micah Sali
| July 5th 2021
Two members of the One Kenya Alliance (OKA) have insisted that next year’s General Elections must take place as prescribed by the Constitution.
Speaking separately ANC party leader Musalia Mudavadi and his Ford Kenya counterpart Moses Wetang’ula urged the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to adhere to all the Constitutional timelines.
Mudavadi who was concluding his two days tour of Nakuru County yesterday said the push to change the Constitution must not be an excuse to postpone the elections.
He spoke after meeting Bishop Morris Muhatia of the Catholic Diocese Nakuru at the Cathedral of Christ the King where he called on the church to remain non-partisan in political engagements in the country. According to Wetang’ula, law reforms should not be used as an excuse to deny Kenyans their right of electing new leadership in August next year.
“We shall not allow the election date to be changed, the constitutional making process can wait until after next year’s elections as slated by the Independent, Electoral and Boundaries Commission,” argued Wetang’ula.
The senator was categorical that where possible, Parliament can effect some amendments which do not require a referendum.
“Some leaders want the elections date changed, we shall not agree to it. Kenyans must cast their ballots in August next year as earlier planned.”
Wetang’ula cautioned leaders against commenting on the anticipated court ruling on the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) appeal case and let the judges do their work without coercion and intimidation.
He dismissed the academic requirements for Kenyans seeking elective seats in next elections.
“I opposed the 2012 Bill that advocated for MCAs and MPs to be degree holders a requirement for leadership. There is more to leadership than having a degree.”
Wetang’ula vowed to stand by Mudavadi to galvanize the western voting bloc.
Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka urged leaders from Western to unite to enhance the region’s chances of being part of the next government.
Lusaka argued that the region will produce a president only if local politicians learn to speak in one voice.
“For us to be taken seriously in national politics, we the leaders have to work and walk together as a community.”
Wetang’ula and Lusaka were addressing mourners during the burial of university don Thomas Simiyu at Kamukuywa in Bungoma County on Saturday.
“With our numerical strength, it is possible for Western to create networks and form next government once the leaders are united,” said Lusaka.
On his part, Mudavadi warned that divisive politics had already began to play out in the county and urged the clergy to be in the forefront of preaching peace.
Further, he urged them not to allow their pulpits to be used as a platform by politicians who are out to play divisive politics.
“The church should speak the truth and point out where things are going wrong. By so doing, it will help in steering Kenyans to the right path,” he said.
Mudavadi appealed to the people of Nakuru and the Rift Valley at large to ensure that peace prevails as the country heads to next year’s General Election.
In particular, the 2022 presidential hopeful called on the government to solve all land issues that have been the root-cause of chaos during electioneering period.
“Unresolved land issues have been the source of conflicts in this region leading to terrible ethnic clashes that claim lives. The state should resolve the land issues before elections to avoid clashes. Historical land injustices bestride the area too,” he said.
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