We’ve no apologies, Ruto tells ODM

Saturday August 14 2010

Higher Education minister William Ruto and his Special Programmes counterpart Naomi Shaban at the Aboretum Gardens in Nairobi on on Saturday. PHOTO /   Fredrick Onyango

Higher Education minister William Ruto and his Special Programmes counterpart Naomi Shaban at the Aboretum Gardens in Nairobi on on Saturday. PHOTO / Fredrick Onyango 

By DAVE OPIYO [email protected] AND GEOFFREY RONO

MPs who campaigned against the new constitution have insisted that they will take part in its implementation regardless of their inclusion in the relevant parliamentary committees.

Higher Education minister William Ruto and other MPs reiterated their calls for amendments of what they maintain are contentious issues in the document so that the country could move on.

At a ceremony in Nairobi to celebrate their participation in the August 4 referendum, Mr Ruto said they had no apologies to make for the stand they took on the new law, as it was their democratic right.

“This constitution is for the 40 million Kenyans not those who voted for it,” said Mr Ruto at the Nairobi Arboretum grounds.

“Now that we have a new constitution, we must now move together as a country, united in considering the various amendments that we had proposed,” he went on.

“We want a prosperous Kenya that is forward looking, stable and that which we can be proud of.”

He was accompanied by among others Cabinet minister Samuel Poghisio, Naomi Shabaan MPs Cyrus Jirongo, Mithika Linturi, Isaack Ruto and Wilfred Machage.

Religious leaders have also piled pressure on the government to effect amendments on the contentious sections of the new law including Land, Abortion and Kadhi’s courts although the Committee of Experts have opposed any amendments to it before it is applied and its efficacy tested.

On Saturday, Mr Ruto, for the second time in as many days scoffed at the decision by his party – ODM – to lock them out of the Constitution Implementation Oversight Committee.

“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,” he said.

“All of us have a stake in the new constitution.”

His sentiments were echoed by Home Affairs assistant minister Beatrice Kones, who at a separate event differed with ODM top hierarchy demanding the sackings of her colleagues who campaigned against the just endorsed constitution.

The Bomet MP termed as “unfortunate” the resolutions reached during the party’s parliamentary group meeting that “ errant” ministers and MPs who were in the No team be disciplined and stripped of their party positions.

Mrs Kones did not attend the meeting.