Amani National Congress (ANC) Party Leader Musalia Mudavadi has castigated aspersions that he is against changing the constitution.
He termed such talk as part of “referendum propaganda” by those who have failed to tell Kenyans what the referendum will be about.
“I’m bound by the NASA manifesto where we promised to revisit sections of the constitution to create a more inclusive and cohesive Kenya. Therefore I’m not against a referendum. Changing the constitution is not wrong. But what will the referendum be about? That is what I want Kenyans to be informed about, to discuss it,” he said clarifying that what he was opposed to was a rushed process that lacks the input of ordinary people.
The former Vice-President who was fielding questions on a local media station on Friday refuted claims that just because he is asking questions, he is against the referendum and is in bed with Deputy President William Ruto.
“It’s sheer malice. Ruto has his views against the referendum. I hold strong views about the process. We are worlds apart in this matter. I know there are others with vested interest in only the executive. But if some people who claim to be democrats want to gag me now, they only want to be left to shout referendum slogans alone. But what debate and when shall we ever hold it about the referendum? “asked the NASA Founder.
The NASA Founder said there is a need to generate debate on articles under contention and then hold a genuine all-inclusive national dialogue to arrive at consensus the Bomas way.
“There are preconditions to a referendum those labeling others are reluctant to address. We have an IEBC that is in tatters yet we want it to preside over a referendum; their silence is telling despite recent agitation against electoral injustice. It is as if by magic, electoral injustice was wiped out”, he complained.
He warned that in its current state, the country should not contemplate allowing IEBC to carryout boundary review.
“This is an outfit that exists only in name. Its retention must be because it will be a special purpose vehicle for someone or a group. Through IEBC, Kenyans are being set up to fail. Otherwise why the loud silence about an agency that lost all credibility eons ago?” paused the ANC Leader.
Mudavadi said the constitution needs a national audit on implementation to isolate the issues for debate and inclusion in the referendum questions stating that piecemeal amendments will spell disaster to Kenya.
“We have been there before. The mutilation of the independence constitution was caused by piecemeal amendments which later proved vexatious. It took us 20years to get a new constitution”, he warned.
Mudavadi alleged suspicion in people being denied an opportunity to debate issues for a referendum.
“They don’t want Kenyans to know what the issues are but choose referendum slogans. For instance, there are transitional clauses that were never implemented to accord with the developed system of government and assure gender parity. The provincial administration is still intact; health, agriculture, roads, and water are devolved functions that national government still meddles with at great cost due to corruption; police reforms were sabotaged”, he said.
He dismissed the slogan “pungunza mzingo” as misleading since it is not the constitution that is a burden to Kenyans.
“Kenyans should not be misled that the constitution is the problem. That Kenyans are over-represented and governance structures are gobbling resources so we must reduce wards, constituencies, and counties. Far from it. The debts Kenyans are servicing through punitive taxes are not caused by the constitution but bad choices made by the government”, he concluded.