A ‘No’ campaign rally ended in confusion on Sunday after two Cabinet ministers were heckled by a section of the crowd during their campaign in Kakamega, western Kenya.
A pupil was injured during a confrontation between a group chanting slogans in support of the document and those calling for its rejection at the referendum.
Kevin Ochieng’, a Standard Six pupil at Maraba Primary School, sustained a cut on the head after a stone hit him near Somken petrol station.
Police swung into action and quickly restored calm. A section of the crowd started heckling Higher Education minister William Ruto after he accused MPs of betraying the wishes of Kenyans by failing to push for amendments to the document to address the contentious sections.
Earlier, Information minister Samuel Poghisio ran into trouble after he said Kenyans would be taxed heavily if they backed the proposed law.
Meanwhile, John Cardinal Njue took the ‘No’ campaign to Mbeere North District at the weekend, reiterating that the Catholic church will not relent.
Cardinal Njue said the church will only endorse the proposed constitution when it conforms with divine law. “No law can be greater than God’s law and as shepherds, we will continue educating our members to reject it,” he said.
“Bishops want a document that captures the dignity of human life and does not go against the divine law,” the cardinal said, adding that the clauses on life and family were handled badly.
The Archbishop of Nairobi said the church believes life begins at conception. The church objects to Article 26, which empowers any health worker to end a pregnancy if it endangers the woman’s life or she needs emergency treatment.
The church says the proposed law will allow abortions to be procured at will. Speaking at St Mary’s Munyori Primary School after a fund-raiser to buy a new bus, Cardinal Njue said that the abortion and kadhi courts issues needed to be addressed before the referendum.
Meanwhile, ODM-K MPs opposed to the proposed constitution yesterday complained that they were being demonised. Machakos Town MP Victor Munyaka and his Mwala counterpart, Mr Daniel Muoki, said it was unfair for their colleagues to use a ‘Yes’ rally in Machakos to criticise them.
Leaders at the Machakos rally on Friday organised by Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka urged him to discipline the “rebel” MPs as they were embarrassing him.
Cabinet minister Charity Ngilu said the MPs were an embarrassment to the region, while Yatta MP Charles Kilonzo asked the VP to “close the door” on them. But Mr Muoki and Dr Munyaka asked their colleagues to respect their stance.
“We have taken a different path from the VP, who is our party leader, but that does not mean that we have stopped being his comrades in arms,” Dr Munyaka said.
Reported by Benson Amadala, Eric Mutai and Bob Odalo