Rift Valley not keen on constitutional changes

Deputy President William Ruto at Kongowea Secondary School in Mombasa County on Friday, August 28, 2020. [Kelvin Karani, Standard]

Although Rift Valley voted overwhelmingly against the 2010 Constitution, most residents are not keen on having it changed.

In 2010 Local leaders mobilised residents against the referendum that was perceived as not favourable to residents on matters such as land, gender and abortion.
Most leaders who supported the ‘Yes’ faction paid the price by being voted out in 2013.
Seasoned leaders such as the former head of civil service and secretary to the Cabinet Sally Kosgey, who was the then MP for Aldai, Henry Kosgey (Tinderet) and Margaret Kamar (Eldoret East) led a spirited effort to convince the region to back the Constitution; they lost.

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The outcome of the referendum vote saw the buildup of a political wave that also saw the emergence of the United Republican Party (URP) under Deputy President William Ruto; URP turned into a formidable regional force.
Today, many leaders in Rift Valley are of the opinion that changing the Constitution is not a priority. They argue that it should instead be implemented fully.
“We are not sure if all issues we had raised have been addressed by the current Constitution, but its amendment is not a priority,” said Keiyo South MP Daniel Rono.
Soy MP Caleb Kositany said there is no hurry to hold a referendum when the country is battling with loss of jobs and a struggling economy. 

Mr Kositany said a referendum can be held alongside the 2022 elections, observing that ordinary Kenyans have not sought any amendments to the 2010 Constitution. 

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“There is no crisis or any emergency that can make us hold the referendum now. We can hold it alongside the 2022 elections in order for us to ponder what we need to change,” Kositany said. 
He stressed that the government should focus on job creation and rebuilding the economy.
“The Sh2 billion Raila said would be enough to hold a referendum can be used to sort out many problems the country is facing,” the MP said.
David Koech, the former Mosop MP and URP CEO, said leaders should divorce 2022 politics from the constitution-making processes.
“We should sober up and focus on which areas need to be amended to come up with good laws,” said Mr Koech

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Henry Kosgey, the former chairman of the Raila Odinga-led ODM, played a crucial role in championing campaigns for the ‘Yes’ team that yielded the Kenya 2010 constitution.
Speaking during a function at Chepyewet Catholic Church in Nandi early this year, Kosgey said he is in support of BBI, saying it would help restore moral values and ethics that will eradicate antisocial vices such as corruption. 

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