16 November 2018

Kenya: Mt Kenya Leaders Meet Odinga, Back Referendum Calls

Grassroots leaders from Embu County led by former minister Joe Nyagah Thursday met ODM leader Raila Odinga and resolved to support calls for a referendum.

Mr Nyagah, a presidential candidate in last years' General Election, said there are areas in the Constitution that need to be amended. He cited the composition of the Executive and Judiciary.

"As leaders from Embu, we will go to the grass roots and tell people to support the referendum. We have identified areas in the Constitution that need to be changed," Mr Nyagah said.

BUILDING BRIDGES INITIATIVE

The team met Mr Odinga at his Capitol Hill office in Nairobi, where it was briefed on the progress made by the Building Bridges Initiative, a team that was put in place after the March 9 handshake deal between Mr Odinga and President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Mr Nyagah said the leaders are happy with the progress made by the team, adding that the country needs peace and unity after last years' divisive poll.

"We are satisfied with the intention of the handshake because we need to go back to the old Kenya, where there was unity," Mr Nyagah said.

Mr Odinga said the handshake has so far created an atmosphere in which people can now talk about issues that have inhibited development for a long time such as corruption and bad governance.

Mr Odinga said he will soon visit Embu to talk to the people on the need for a referendum.

The ODM leader encouraged Kenyans to present their views to the Building Bridges Initiative on how to fix problems that affect the country.

MAKUENI VISIT

The team is currently in Makueni County gathering views on corruption, divisive elections, ethnic relations, among others.

It has also visited Kitui and Machakos.

"When we came together in 1990s, we got a multi-party system. Next we got a new Constitution. Now we must join the conversation again to create a united country that respects the rule of law, hates corruption and offers equal opportunities for all citizens. That is where we are and I urge Kenyans to join the conversation," Mr Odinga said

"My call is for Kenyans to join the conversation on how to make the country better. We need to talk to each other. That is what I have told the Embu delegation," he said.

On the appointment of Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka as the head of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission on peace in South Sudan, Mr Odinga said the former Vice-President is competent and should be allowed to do his work without reading much politics into it.

Mr Odinga maintained that the opposition is still intact and will continue to play its role.

"Kalonzo's appointment has nothing to do with the politics of this country and he has not abdicated his role in the opposition," he said.

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