Mt Kenya leaders vow to oppose constitutional changes

More than 10 MPs and two Governors from Mt Kenya region have said they would oppose the change of Constitution if it is meant to create jobs for some few people and add burden to Kenyans.

The leaders who included Governors Kiraitu Murungi (Meru) and Muthomi Njuki (Tharaka Nithi) said Kenyans were more enlightened than before and will not be used as a rubber stamp to support change of laws to benefit few individuals.

Other leaders were MPs, Mithika Linturi (Meru), John Paul (South Igembe), Mpuru Aburi (Eala), Halima Mucheke (nominated), Nimrod Mbai (Kitui East), Fabian Muli (Kangundo), Josphat Kabeabea (Tigania East), Kubai Iringo (Igembe Central), Kathuri Murungi (South Imenti) and Kanyuithia Mutunga (Tigania West).

Governor Muthomi wondered why Kenyans were being subjected to referendums to amend the Constitution whenever the country was about to undergo change in leadership.

“Why was it that there was no referendum to change the Constitution in 2013 or 2017? This is suspect,” he said.

Speaking during the funeral service of mzee Peter Linturi, father to Senator Linturi at his Igembe South home in Meru County, attended by Deputy President William Ruto, the leaders said Kenyans were not ready for a Constitution that would add burden to them.

Governor Kiraitu said it was because of the confusion that has been created by the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) and Punguza Mizigo Initiative that has forced governors to come up with the Ugatuzi (devolution) initiative seeking for more funds to the counties.

“There is no need for departments like agriculture, health and lands among others to remain with 80 per cent of the funds yet all the work is being handled at the county level,” said Governor Kiraitu.

Kangundo MP Fabian Muli said BBI was not about the people but few leaders who met in five-star hotels to explore ways of achieving their selfish gains ahead of the 2022 polls.

The legislators said they would, however, support the change of the Constitution if it aims to reduce burden on Kenyans.

“But we will oppose attempts to change laws in order to create jobs for some few people,” said Mr Kabeabea.

MP Kiringo said Kenyans would not accept a constitution that would be imposed on them by few individuals to achieve their selfish gains.

“Let it be clear that Kenyans will not accept a Constitution that will be imposed on them. What they want is to have laws that can help solve the problems facing them including high cost of food,” said Mr Kiringo.

MPs Kathuri and John Paul said devolution has transformed lives of millions of Kenyans, saying they would resist attempts to interfere with the devolved system of governance.

MP Aburi urged counties to ensure accountability and transparency on resources allocated to the grassroots.

Governor Kiraitu and Senator Linturi also asked the Jubilee’s top leadership to restore law and order in the party.

They said the party’s top leadership should not allow some few individuals to wreck it from within by causing confusion and disunity among the members.

“We count on you (Deputy President) to restore law and order in our party,” said Governor Kiraitu.

“We should not watch the party that brought us to this far from collapsing. The spirit behind the formation of Jubilee should not be abandoned. We must salvage our party from collapse,” added Senator Linturi.

The Deputy President on his part assured Kenyans that Jubilee was firm and remains the strongest party in the country, saying no one would be allowed to interfere with its agenda for Kenyans.

“I want to ask leaders including my brother Governor Kiraitu not to lose hope in the party because the small issues will be sorted out,” said Dr Ruto.

“You all know what is happening on matters of Constitution. The champions of change of Constitution are known. This is not a business of Jubilee but other people who are well known to Kenyans,” said Dr Ruto.

He said calls for change of the Constitution would not deter Jubilee from implementing its development agenda for Kenyans.

The Deputy President eulogised the late mzee Linturi as a hardworking and prominent farmer of tea, coffee, macadamia and cereals crops and who helped transform the lives of people in his locality.