Having a referendum before 2017 elections is wasteful and unwise

The aftermath of the disputed 2017 General Election is something that no one wants revisited on the country.

Thursday February 11 2016

Cord Leaders march along University Way in Nairobi on November 9, 2015 on their way to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) offices at Anniversary Towers to present copies containing signatures for the Okoa Kenya Drive. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL |

Cord Leaders march along University Way in Nairobi on November 9, 2015 on their way to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) offices at Anniversary Towers to present copies containing signatures for the Okoa Kenya Drive. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NATION MEDIA GROUP

As one of the architects of the Boresha Katiba Initiative, which seeks to amend the Constitution through parliament by way of a Bill, it is paramount that we urge Kenyans to support the move.

It’s obvious that since the enactment of the current Constitution in 2010, the audit of the supreme law indicates that there are grey areas that needed to be addressed to allow for smooth implementation and cut down on cost which we all agree is enormous.

Depending on the political side from which one will looks at this issue, both the opposition-fronted Okoa Kenya Initiative and the Boresha Katiba are a ruse by politicians to make themselves relevant by seeking to indulge Kenyans for their own selfish and political interests.

CAST ASPERSIONS

Although we regard our initiative as bi-partisan and operate on the same strategy that the Inter-Parties Political Group (IPPG) worked on during the former President Moi’s tenure, when there was a lacuna in the process of constituting an electoral board, there are still those who have cast aspersion on this move.

But the fact of the matter is that it will not be prudent to hold a referendum soon, when we are just months away from next year’s General Election.

The exercise is therefore not economically tenable or sustainable, irrespective of the political side that one takes.

For all intents and purposes,  it will only disrupt economic activities before the General Election.

The estimated Sh30 billion that would be used in the referendum could be channelled into other development projects that will directly uplift the standard of living of the people of Kenya.

POLITICAL TEMPERATURES

The issues raised by the Okoa Kenya Initiative such as the increase in the amount of revenue to be allocated to the counties and Ward Development Fund (WDF) have already be taken care of in the Boresha Katiba Initiative.

Indeed, any referendum now will raise unnecessary political temperatures and such scenario will be used for mass mobilisation as was witnessed in the run up to the 2007 General Election.

The aftermath of the disputed 2017 General Election is something that no one wants revisited on the country.

Okoa Kenya proponents have yet to come out to argue the demerits of the Boresha Katiba Initiative and instead dismissed it as a plot hatched by the Jubilee Government to scuttle its referendum bid.

This is the reason I want to appeal to our brothers and sisters in Okoa Kenya not to look at this initiative through political lenses.

We need to look at this process in a manner devoid of political interests because the Constitution is meant to serve Kenyans for a long time to come.

THREE MILLION SIGNATURES

Let’s not go for each other’s jugular by seeking to outdo each other in unnecessary political duels that can be done in the General Election.

There is, therefore, a need to override our personal, selfish or political interests and let reason and sobriety prevail as we grapple with this matter.

The journey to attaining this Constitution has been arduous, bloody, torturous and we should not reverse the gains made so far by trying to out do each other at the expense of the stability and development of the country.

In Boresha Initiative, we plan to acquire more than three million signatures from Kenyans so as to push the Bill to Parliament.

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