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Don't let referendum talk derail your growth agenda, Jubilee leaders tell UhuRuto

A group of Jubilee leaders have asked President Uhuru Kenyatta and DP William Ruto not to be derailed by the growing pressure to change the Constitution. 

The lot on Saturday said the referendum, as being pushed by some politicians, may derail the country’s development.

They are Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu, MPs Gabriel Kago (Githunguri), Simon King’ara (Ruiru), Kimani Ichung’wa (Kikuyu), and Moses Kuria (Gatundu South).

The leaders said the billions the country could use in the event of a referendum better be used to develop the country and deliver services under Big 4.

They spoke in Githunguri in the company of Ruto during the fundraising for the ACK St Stephen’s Kiambururu Church.

Kiambu deputy governor James Nyoro, who was also present at the event, asked Uhuru and Ruto not to lose focus on their development dream. 

“It is you (Ruto) and the President who will be held to account if the country fails to develop. That is why you must be firm, and if you think the review of the Constitution is ill-timed, let it be put aside.”

For his part, Waititu said the talk on constitutional change was affecting service delivery adding that leaders should use the four years to the next elections to deliver on their pledges.

“We must dismiss all manner of politicking that is not of benefit to Kenyans. If we must do politics, let it be about development,” Ichung’wa said.

He said the ‘other things you hear about referendum’ are a distraction meant to slug the government’s development plans. “We will not support that.”

Also read: Uhuru to leaders: ‘Give Kenyans a break on 2022 politics, focus on development’

Kiambu Woman Representative Gathoni wa Muchomba said the country was growing tired of ‘noises’ about the review of the Constitution.

It is time some leaders discarded their selfish moves for the betterment of Kenya, she noted.

Waititu added that the proposed referendum would best serve the interests of Kenyans if the questions in it would be people-focused.

“But if it is to elevate the fortunes of some individuals hungry to be politically relevant, then just forget about it,” he said.

Read: I didn’t say referendum a must, let Kenyans decide – Raila

Kuria, in his speech, said the country neither has resources nor time to pursue it.

“We have directed our attention to development issues. But if we must have it, let it be done alongside the 2022 general elections,” he said.

Kuria said the transformation of Kenya would not be met through the amendment of the Constitution but by its leadership. 

“Kenyans need to elect leaders who are focused on their issues. Referendum will not in any way make Kenya better. It is the people to do so,” he said.

The Deputy President, who has dismissed the calls, said he would not be drawn into the referendum debate as is desired by his opponents.

“I am not available for the referendum. I am busy consolidating the legacy of the president and the realisation of the Jubilee manifesto.”

“Let those pursuing it do so. My hands are full and I cannot be forced into it,” he said. 

He added that those making the referendum call should tell Kenyans why they want the Constitution reviewed, the issues to change and who will benefit from the said changes. 

Ruto regretted that some politicians were forcing people ‘into their traps’ yet Kenya is a democratic country.

Related: Referendum is for idlers, says Ruto

Also see: Don’t support referendum to create more positions – Ruto

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