Kenya: Mudavadi Calls for Dialogue to Agree On Referendum Question

18 December 2018

The issue of whether the country should hold a referendum to amend the Constitution is a foregone conclusion, Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi has said.

But he noted that what should be exercising the minds of the public is the referendum question, which must be agreed through consensus in a broad-based dialogue bringing together all Kenyans.

Speaking Monday when he met a group of former MPs from Central Kenya, Mr Mudavadi said the only way to ensure that the impending review of the Constitution is all encompassing is to create consensus through dialogue.

REFERENDUM QUESTION

"The issue is not whether we should amend the Constitution, it's what will be the referendum question. That was the basis of our meeting," Mr Mudavadi said after a one-hour meeting with the politicians at his Riverside residence in Nairobi.

"The referendum question will come out of dialogue. That is why we are encouraging Kenyans to dialogue so that we zero in on the question."

He added: "Developing consensus through dialogue means that the impending referendum will not be contested in ways that will polarise the country."

2022 POLITICS

Speaking on behalf of the former MPs, Mr Mutahi Kagwe, the former Nyeri senator, insisted that the meeting had nothing to do with the 2022 politics, but exploring ways on how the country can move forward.

He said time has come for Kenyans to have another look at the Constitution and make it more responsive to the challenges facing the nation.

"It is our view that the Constitution must be responsive to the needs of Kenyans. There are certain tenets of the supreme law that we need to have another look at. We need to correct them because they may not have come out correctly during the last review," he said.

But he clarified that the meeting had not delved into the details of the particular provision that should be amended. "We did not go into specifics. We have not zeroed in on any idea, but we have agreed on the need to amend the Constitution."

Other former MPs present were Mr John Njoroge, Mr Muriuki Karue, Mr Kembi Gitura, Mr Gachagua Muchiri, Mr Daniel Karaba, Mr David Ngugi, Mr Joshua Toro and former deputy governors Gakure Monyo (Muranga) and Gerald Githinji (Kiambu).

Last week on Tuesday, the politicians held a similar meeting with Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya where they hinted at forming a coalition with Mr Odinga.

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