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Referendum calls waste of money, Uhuru says

09 August 2014, 16:45 PSCU

Nairobi - President Uhuru Kenyatta has dismissed the push for a referendum by opposition leaders and the council of governors as a waste of public money.

He instead told those agitating for a referendum to switch their focus to help the country use its resources in a more useful manner.

He said the push for a referendum boils down to a call to waste public money on an unnecessary venture.

The President said implementation of issues like devolution that some politicians want amended in the constitution started after the Jubilee Government came to power.

He said Kenyans voted less than a year ago and made a choice to give the jubilee Government the mandate to rule and therefore it should be given the space to implement reforms.

“Just one and a half years after we have started implementing this provisions some people are asking for a referendum. Are we going to have a referendum every one year?” posed the President when he addressed the Kenyan diaspora in Dallas.

He said politicians should spend their time promoting development and cohesion.

The President said governors of counties should spend the money allocated to them prudently instead of fronting the argument that only more budgetary allocation will solve the country’s development challenges.

“It is not how much money you have but how you utilize it that makes the difference,” he said.

He said those pushing the referendum calls should instead be helping the Kenyans by exchanging healthy ideas with Government on how to help the country make progress in development.

“Kenyans made a choice in 2013 and they chose the Jubilee Government. Those calling for a referendum should save their energy for 2017 because it’s not far away,” he said.

The President made the remarks when he met the Kenyan diaspora at Dallas Convention Center where he also told them that his mission to the US-Africa Leaders Summit was a success.

President Kenyatta addressed the Kenyans who jam-packed the Dallas Convention Center shortly after having a private meeting with former President of United States George Bush.

The President told Kenyans in the US to be agents for the good image of their country and urged them to encourage harmonious co-existence.

He said his trip to Washington DC for the summit was successful because the Kenya Government as well as private sector had an opportunity to meet with US policy makers and business leaders at the highest level.

The President told those at the convention that though they were far from home, they should rest assured that the Government was moving the affairs of the country in the right direction.

The President also told them that they should refrain from engaging in hate speech in social media.

“Let our diversity be our strength rather than our weakness,” he said.

The President arrived in the US on Monday for the US-Africa Leaders Summit which was attended by 47 heads of state from Africa.

He led a strong delegation of Cabinet Secretaries who attended different sessions related to their dockets during the summit which US President Barack Obama called to boost trade between Africa and the US.

Cabinet Secretaries who attended the summit were Ambassador Amina Mohamed (Foreign Affairs and International Trade), Judy Wakhungu (Environment and Water), Henry Rotich (The National Treasury) and Michael Kamau (Transport and Infrastructure).

Others were Joseph ole Lenku (Internal Security), Anne Waiguru (Devolution), James Macharia (Health), Adan Mohamed (Industrialisation and Enterprise Development), Davis Chirchir (Energy and Petroleum) and Phyllis Kandie (East African Affairs).

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