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Okoa Kenya reduces issues on referendum query

Thursday October 22 2015

Ms Adhiambo Opondo (left) gives Cord

Ms Adhiambo Opondo (left) gives Cord co-principal Moses Wetangula a booklet, as Cord leader Raila Odinga (centre) looks on at Bomas of Kenya in Nairobi on April 23, 2015 after the launch of 'Okoa Kenya' Bill. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NATION MEDIA GROUP

CAROLINE WAFULA
By CAROLINE WAFULA
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The Okoa Kenya team has reduced referendum questions.

The decision comes after three months of talks which concluded that there were too many issues.

Members of the team Cord is using to drive the referendum say this will be discussed by the coalition’s leadership before a final decision is taken.

Cord wants the Constitution changed in a referendum plan unveiled in April. It wants funding to counties increased.

The team also wants counties to handle security. Other issues are electoral, institutional and land sector reforms, entrenchment of the Constituency Development Fund into the Constitution and making the anti-graft agency a constitutional commission.

CONFUSE PEOPLE

Mr Antony Oluoch, a member of the Okoa Kenya committee of experts said: “We have taken on too much which might confuse people.”

“People want a simple referendum that does not make them go through many documents.

‘‘This is a political decision on what is expedient,” he added. The team is now preparing to present signatures to the electoral commission early next month.

Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi told the Nation the Okoa Kenya team will officially present the one million signatures and the referendum Bill to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission in the first week of November.

This will be preceded by a march and a political rally in Nairobi.

Team leader Paul Mwangi said: “The technical phase is coming to a close. We are now tidying up and closing up the process.”

“The committee of experts is to hand over its report to the appointing authorities,” Mr Mwangi said.

MILLION SIGNATURES

Mr Oluoch said the process has taken time because of the legalities involved.

“Being a legal process, we did not want to run through it because we are working as technocrats.”

Mr Oluoch said it will be hard to merge the governor’s Pesa Mashinani because Okoa Kenya team has made so much headway.