Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka on Saturday urged Kenyans to pass the draft constitution in the coming referendum. He said the contentious issues would be amended soon after the new constitution is promulgated.
Mr Musyoka said he was confident the meeting between the church and government on Monday would provide solutions especially on how to address the concerns of those currently opposed to the draft constitution.
“When I propose that we should not give up on dialogue in order to bring everybody on board, some people call that wavering but in reality it is an effort to ensure that the country is not divided over such a fundamental issue as the nation’s constitution,” Mr Musyoka said.
He was speaking at Tala in Matungulu district, during the burial of Mzee Paul Muthama Kimomo, the father of Kangundo MP Johnstone Muthama. Mzee Muthama died on April 13, 2010 following an illness. He was 86.
Mr Musyoka also delivered President Kibaki’s condolence message. The VP asked the media to ensure the on-going debate on the constitution does not divide Kenyans. He said he was committed to the enactment of the new constitution but maintained that it must be done peacefully. “If we fail, we might as well forget about it,” he said.
Speaking at the same function, Justice minister Mutula Kilonzo asked Kenyans to register as voters so as to vote for the document. He said the new constitution would ensure Kenyans do not fight over elections as it provides for a runoff if no candidate garners over 50 per cent of the total votes.
Nairobi Metropolitan minister Njeru Githae said no country has a perfect constitution and pleaded for a Yes vote. Mr Muthama asked leaders to tell Kenyans the truth about the new constitution. He said MPs had lost their opportunity to change the draft and should allow it to go the referendum.
The burial service was conducted by the African Inland Church presiding bishop Silas Yego and the Rev Dr David Mulwa.
Bishop Yego asked political leaders to respect the position taken by the church on the draft and welcomed the committee formed to strike an understanding between the church and the government. “The church has a point and we should be listened to,” the cleric said adding that the church represented millions of followers who can not be ignored.
“Mr Vice-president, I must use this forum to tell you the inner feelings of my fellow clergymen; they are upset by these insults from the political arena,” he said. Mzee Muthama leaves a widow, Naomi Kathule, 10 children, several grandchildren and great grandchildren.
– Additional reporting by Bob Odalo