22 July 2014

Kenya: Cord Unveils Team to Craft Referendum Question

Photo: The Star
Parliament building.

Nairobi — The Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) on Tuesday named four experts to lead a team that will craft the referendum question.

The team comprises lawyers Paul Mwangi, Kethi Kilonzo, Beatrice Kituyi and human rights activist Khelef Khalifa.

"The Committee of Experts is forthwith charged with the responsibility of crafting and formulating the referendum issues. This team will be increased as appropriate with regard to its workload and expertise requirements," Kisumu County Senator Anyang' Nyong'o said while briefing the media.

The agreement was reached after the Coalition's Parliamentary Group meeting held at a Nairobi hotel on Tuesday.

The team will come up with a legal strategy to be used by the Opposition in trying to compel the government to organise a referendum, following a decision reached at the Saba Saba rally earlier this month.

Mwangi served as constitutional advisor in the office of Raila Odinga when he was Prime Minister, while Kituyi served as the Labour Permanent Secretary in the Grand Coalition Government.

Kethi gained recognition during CORD's Supreme Court challenge to Uhuru Kenyatta's election as President while Khalifa is a member of the Muslim for Human Rights organisation and previously served on the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights.

Also unveiled during the PG is the framework for national referendum encompassing the National Council of Advisors, the Political Caucus, the National Referendum Committee, the Committee of Experts, Citizens' Forum, the Secretariat and Grassroots Volunteer Action Committees.

CORD called a referendum during the Saba Saba rally at Uhuru Park on 13 key issues after demands for national dialogue with the government failed.

Tuesday's PG attended by over 90 MPs, Kilifi and Nairobi Governors Amason Kingi and Evans Kidero, called for the implementation of the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Report as originally compiled by the commission as a solution to the feelings of betrayal and injustices people are struggling with.

The PG - which was jointly chaired by CORD Principals Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka and Moses Wetangula - demanded an overhaul of the security and intelligence management of the country and a comprehensive plan for peace and security for all residents of the coastal region in particular and the country in general.

CORD also demanded the nullification of last Monday's National Police Service recruitment exercise and called for a fresh process to be comprehensively vetted and supervised by the county governments.

"We condemn in the sternest terms possible the raw corruption exhibited during the recent police recruitment exercise and demand the nullification of the entire process and prosecution of the perpetrators. We demand for a repeat exercise that will be fair, transparent, equitable and reflective of the diversity of our nation," Nyong'o said.

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