Atwoli castigates polticians for polarising the country
02 September 2014, 15:50
Kakamega - Central Organization of Trade Union (COTU) Secretary General, Francis Atwoli has castigated politicians for polarising and raising tension in the country by politicising the calls for referendum.
Atwoli observed that referendum should be idea based, and a move meant to solve challenges facing the country, restore patriotism, solve negative ethnicity, and tackle negative economic development in the nation.
He bemoaned that such matter of national importance had been reduced to political contest between political parties saying the move is aimed to scuttle the benefits Kenyans will gain from constitutional amendments.
Atwoli was speaking during the funeral service of Simon Kigalu, the former General Secretary of Transport and Allied Workers Union of Kenya at Mukambi village in Sabatia Vihiga over the weekend.
“Referendum does not belong to politicians alone. The fate of this country cannot be determined by politicians alone. The constitution is not for politicians alone but for every Kenyan. Referendum should be based on ideas that will bring positive change in our country,” said Atwoli.
He explained that in 2010, there were provisions in the constitution that Kenyans felt needed to be amended but it was agreed upon that changes will be effected after promulgation.
Atwoli said there is need for amendment of the law to scrap some elective posts and commissions, as well as the dire need to reverse some laws entrenched in the constitution.
Also Read:Governors urged to join CORD in their push for referendum
“There are many elective positions that lack importance in the current dispensation. What is the work of Senators when we have MPs? Why do we have deputy governors who have no clear role in the constitution? The county commissioners are just photocopying the roles of governors. These are some posts that need to be scrapped among others,” he said.
“We have so many commissions and nominated lawmakers that are burdening the taxpayers through explosive huge bill. The health sector also needs to be reversed because so far, we have seen county governments cannot handle this sector. These are the reasons we need referendum,” he explained.
The Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) are in the forefront calling for referendum.
The coalition has launched collection of one million signatures for a referendum drive labeled ‘Okoa Kenya’, with reports indicating that they are almost hitting their target.
Also Read: CORD nears 1 million mark in signature collection
They argue that their calls for referendum is meant to protect devolution which is under threat, tackle insecurity and call for an all-inclusive government appointments.
Governors have also launched another call for referendum dubbed “Pesa Mashinani" to push for increased budgetary allocation to county governments from the current 15 percent to 45 percent.
He called upon the government and opposition to stop political ultimatums and chest thumping saying the final decision lies with Kenyans who will decide whether they want amendment of the constitution or not.
“The issue of referendum should be discussed with a lot of sobriety and restraint from political undertones. We don’t want a repeat of 2005 referendum that culminated into ethnic hatred that led to 2007/2008 post-election violence,” he said.
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