Constitutional review must be people driven -DP

Deputy President William Ruto has said those pushing for the change of the Constitution through the backdoor would not succeed.

He said if there must be any review of the Constitution, it has to be people-driven.

Speaking at Kidudu Stadium and Ivona Secondary School grounds in Vihiga County during two separate interdenominational prayer services on Sunday, Dr Ruto said matters pertaining to the review of Constitution required the input of all Kenyans.

The Deputy President said the process must be people-centred, and, therefore, should add value to Kenyans.

He challenged those pushing for the amendment of the current laws to learn from the Punguza Mizigo Initiative, which is being rejected by Kenyans for failing to incorporate their voices.

“It is the people who can decide whether to change the Constitution or not. It is Kenyans who have the final say on issues of changing the Constitution; not a few individuals,” explained the Deputy President.

He noted that Kenyans were now preoccupied with issues of development, adding that those engaging in politics of changing the Constitution would not disrupt the Jubilee’s development agenda.

“Constitutional change should not be about seats and political power. We want solid and open conversation about issues that would better the lives of Kenyans,” said Dr Ruto.

He was accompanied by MPs Benjamin Washiali (Mumias East), Bernard Shinali (Ikolomani), Charles Gimose (Hamisi), John Waluke (Sirisia), Geoffrey Omuse (Teso South), Didmus Barasa (Kimilili), Oscar Sudi (Kapseret), Caleb Kositany (Soy) and Johana Ngeno (Emurua Dikirr).

Others were former Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale, former Vihiga Governor Moses Akaranga, former Sports CS Rashid Echesa and former Vihiga MP Yusuf Chanzu.

Later in Kapseret during another interdenominational prayer service, the Deputy President asked politicians to spare the country from the endless political theatrics about power sharing.

He said Kenyans were more interested on service delivery that would transform their lives.

“We cannot continue discussing about how we will share power or create positions all the time. That is selfish and unreasonable. For the sake of all Kenyans, let us shelve all these debates and serve the people,” Dr Ruto explained.

At the same time, the Deputy President urged leaders to put aside their political differences and take a common stand on matters affecting the people.

The leaders present called on ANC Leader Musalia Mudavadi and his Ford-Kenya counterpart Moses Wetangula to work with the Government in furthering the country’s development.

They accused the two leaders of lacking the will, stamina and commitment on the much-talked-about Luhya unity.

“We want to speak in one language of unity across the Luhya community,” said Mr Khalwale.

Mr Washiali asked Luhya leaders to unite and position the community in Government, saying the region cannot afford to remain in the opposition.

“As a community, we should work together ahead of 2022. Our brothers (Mudavadi and Wetangula) have been leading us to the opposition leaving us as outsiders in Government. We should now embrace leaders who can ensure we are part of the next government,” said Mr Washiali.

On his part, Mr Shinali wondered why Mr Musalia and Mr Wetangula had fielded different candidates in the Kibra by-election instead of using the opportunity to display the Luhya solidarity.

Mr Khalwale said the Luhya community is ready to unite and walk in one direction for the sake of the region’s prosperity.

Meanwhile, Mr Waluke called on Mr Mudavadi and Mr Wetangula to team up with Dr Ruto ahead of the 2022 polls.

Kimilili legislator asked leaders to discard the archaic politics of division, and channel their energy on empowering Kenyans.