Leaders across the political divide oppose calls for a constitutional referendum

Leaders across the political divide have opposed the calls for a constitutional referendum, terming it a selfish move driven by greed.

They said it was wrong to expose Kenyans to another political contest, barely a year after the General Elections.

Led by National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale, the more than 10 MPs said the opportunity now is to serve Kenyans through the implementation of development projects such as roads.

“The terms of the service of the fourteen-member committee of Building Bridges does include the calls for a referendum,” said Mr Duale.

Galole MP Said Hiribae and his Bura counterpart Ali Wario regretted that selfish and greedy politicians were engaging in discussions of no value to the poor instead of working towards having better roads, sufficient clean drinking water, better healthcare and enough food supply.

They spoke on Thursday at a public meeting in Huruma Mixed Secondary School in Tana River County in the company of Deputy President William Ruto.

Other leaders present included Tana River Governor Dhadho Godhana, Tana River Senator Juma Wario, Tana River Women Rep Rehema Hassan, Sophia Noor (Ijara), Lydia Haika (Taita Taveta Woman Representative), Owen Baya (Kilifi North), Ali Mbogo (Kisauni), Aisha Jumwa (Malindi), Suleiman Dori (Msambweni), Badi Twalib (Jomvu) and Suleiman Dori (Msambweni).

Instead of engaging in non-issue-based politics, Governor Godhana called on leaders to support and aid devolution to thrive.

“There are gaps and misunderstandings between different entities and leaders where we have been witnessing overlapping and conflicting roles. This needs to be ironed out through a clear legal plan,” he said.

Mr Ruto asked leaders to work together and support the government in its push to develop Kenya.

He said when leaders unite, Kenya would develop at a faster rate. Mr Ruto further urged county governments to partner with the national government in transforming Kenya.

“We have so far signed memorandum of understanding with 37 counties on the erection of modern houses as part of the Big Four Agenda. We want to deepen this in other sectors so as to empower every Kenyan,” noted the Deputy President.

He said the government had identified Tana River County as one of the key players in food production in the country.

So as to make the county produce more food, Mr Ruto said bigger tunnels would be constructed in the next one month to supply water to the Bura Irrigation Scheme.

“The new water volumes would be enough to serve more than 20,000 acres of land for food production,” he said, adding that some funds had been allocated for the rehabilitation of the Hola Irrigation Scheme that would see its acreage of irrigation expand from 4,000 to 6,000.

Mr Dori, who is also the Coast Parliamentary Group Chairman, said the region would rally behind Mr Ruto’s 2022 Presidential bid.

“As leaders, we have the responsibility of working together and play the central role in the formation of the 2022 government,” said Mr Dori.

Earlier, the Deputy President inaugurated the Fayya Technical Training Institute where he called on the people of Bura to take advantage of the institution in building the capacity of their youths.

He said Sh120 million worth of equipment would be supplied to the institution in December as it readies itself for the January 2019 admission of learners.

“This is part of our bigger plan to develop every part of Kenya. So as to eliminate discrimination, the government will pay Sh30,000 in form of bursary as fees to every student,” said Mr Ruto.