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We will not back referendum, say William Ruto allies

Saturday September 14 2019

Deputy President William Ruto

Deputy President William Ruto addresses participants of the women empowerment programme in Rabai, Kilifi County, on September 13, 2019. He launched the construction of Sh2.3 billion Kakuyuni-Gongoni and Kakuyuni-Kilifi pipeline works in Kilifi North. PHOTO | JONAH MWANGI | DPPS 

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Deputy President William Ruto’s allies on Friday vowed to block a national referendum to change the constitution.

The MPs, who spoke in Kilifi and Nakuru counties, said they would only rally behind a referendum if it would transform the lives of Kenyans.

Speaking during Mr Ruto’s tour of Kilifi County on Friday, the MPs said the proposed change of the constitution is aimed at creating more seats for a few communities and politicians.

“We will not respond to a call for reviving the political fortunes of some leaders,” said Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa, who led the group.

She said Kenya’s financial status would not allow it to fund the said constitutional review, adding that the country has pressing issues such as healthcare, infrastructure, education, agriculture and security.

Lunga Lunga MP Khatib Mwashetani said the current clamour for a review of the constitution is meant to stop Mr Ruto from ascending to the presidency, warning that the majority of Kenyans will oppose a referendum meant to benefit a few people.


“Ours is to work for the people as leaders. If there is need for a change in the constitution, then it is the people to decide,” said Jomvu MP Badi Twalib.


Mr Ruto said the country is not ready to be put under another supremacy battle through a referendum that would only benefit a few individuals.

“We have a debt to Kenyans, which is making their lives better as promised in the Jubilee manifesto and the Big Four Agenda,” he explained.

He said he would support President Uhuru Kenyatta as he seeks to transform Kenya.

The DP launched the construction of Sh2.3 billion Kakuyuni-Gongoni and Kakuyuni-Kilifi pipeline works in Kilifi North besides initiating several Last Mile projects.


In Nakuru, another group of pro-Ruto politicians accused Opposition leader Raila Odinga of blocking their access to President Kenyatta.

The leaders vowed to support Mr Ruto’s 2022 presidential bid despite Mr Odinga’s ‘meddling’ in Jubilee affairs.

“Everything was going on well until Raila came into the picture because of the March handshake. Now it’s very difficult for the real Jubilee supporters to meet the President and discuss issues effecting the country in line with the party’s manifesto,” Laikipia Woman Representative Catherine Waruguru said.

The politicians - under the Inua Mama, Jenga Kenya Initiative - who spoke at the Nakuru ASK showground, challenged President Kenyatta to fulfill his promise that he made in Nakuru during the presidential campaigns two years ago.


Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika accused Mr Odinga of trying to create a rift between the President and Mr Ruto.

“There was a promise that was made between the President and the DP that after leading this country for 10 years, it will be another 10 years for Mr Ruto. That is the promise which we shall fulfill,” said Ms Kihika.

She poured cold water on the Building Bridges Initiative saying it is a scheme by Mr Odinga to change the Constitution and ascend to power.