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CIC defends CORD's call for referendum

19 August 2013, 14:25 John Kioko

The Commission for implementation of the constitution (CIC) has defended leaders crusading for a referendum to change the constitution saying it is their rights.

The CIC chair Charles Nyachae said the law does itself contemplate the amendment when necessary or of benefit to the citizens.

“It will not be right to demonize intend of those wishing to persuade the country to accept amendments on the constitution because it is their right and it should be taken in good faith,” he said.

Nyachae was speaking at leisure Lodge Resort on Friday during the LSK annual conference whose theme was realizing of devolution and decentralization under the constitution.

Although CIC is not in support of the referendum, Nyachae said those intending to persuade Kenyans to accept the amendments should not be intimidated or demonised by any means.

The CIC chair noted that it is time for the country to spend its energy and time implementing the constitution, after which the proposed changes can be considered.

“As much as it is the constitutional rights of Kenyans crusading for a referendum and we concede with those with the move, it is pre-mature because the process may impact negatively the implementation of the constitution.

His sentiments come as former Prime Minister Raila odinga and deputy president William Ruto pointed fingers on each other during the LSK conference over the issue of referendum.

Ruto expressed his displeasure during the conference over the move to amend the constitution just a few months after general election before full implementation of devolution.

He asked Raila and his team to hold on their horses and give Jubilee government time to deliver on their campaign promises.

Raila however said even if he was elected the president of Kenya, the issue of amendments on the constitution would be his priority since he  promised to ensure the constitution suits everyone during CORD campaigns.

The issue of referendum has elicited major reactions from various leaders with Jubilee senators and some politicians allied to CORD distancing themselves from the matter.

Senators allied to Jubilee alliance said they don’t support the move by CORD leaders to call for a referendum.

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