Kenya's PM indicates an inclusive implementation of new law

Sunday August 15 2010

Prime Minister Raila Odinga addresses the congregation at ACK St Stephen Cathedral Jogoo Road on Sunday. PHOTO / SULEIMAN MBATIAH

Prime Minister Raila Odinga addresses the congregation at ACK St Stephen Cathedral Jogoo Road on Sunday. PHOTO / SULEIMAN MBATIAH 

By EMMANUEL ONYANGO

Kenya's Prime Minister Raila Odinga on Sunday gave indications of an "inclusive" implementation of the new constitution that will incorporate rival camps which campaigned against each other in the run up to the August 4 constitution referendum.

But even as he made the reconciliatory gesture, Mr. Odinga insisted it was not for those who lost at the referendum to make demands on the level of their inclusion in the implementation process.

The Prime Minister made the remarks on Sunday at St. Stephens Anglican church, located along Nairobi's Jogoo road.

The climb down comes a day after William Ruto, a cabinet minister who had led the 'No' campaign, had insisted on the inclusion of his team in the Constitution Implementation Oversight Committee (COIC) and the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution (CIC).

“We shall take our rightful place in the implementation of this new constitution irrespective of our stand. We shall not be intimidated or blackmailed by anyone,” Ruto had said on Saturday. “All of us have a stake in the new constitution.”

Using the anecdote of a boxing match, Mr Odinga likened the 'No' camp to a boxer floored by his opponent in a bout but who still issues threats of a comeback.

Mr. Odinga's party, Orange Democratic Movement, had on Thursday held a parliamentary group meeting which resolved slap party sanctions against its members of Parliament who were in the 'No' camp. As a first step, the renegade MPs will be kept out of the Constitution Implementation Oversight Committee, a powerful new team which will have a role in the implementation of the new Constitution.

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