DP William Ruto has for the first time publicly declared that he supports constitutional reforms through a referendum to help improve Kenyans’ lives but not to burden them more.
He, however, dismissed claims that it was part of the handshake deal signed between President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM party leader Raila Odinga in March.
Speaking in Tharaka Nithi on Saturday, Ruto said Jubilee is ready for constitutional changes but noted that those who have been talking about it should sit and agree on what they want.
“Sisi hatuna shida na referendum lakini tuko na shida na unafiki na utapeli…ukituambia ya kuwa referendum ilikubaliwa siku ya handshake, hiyo ni uongo na unafiki,” he said.
(We do not have a problem with referendum but we have issues with fraud and pretence….if you tell us that this was agreed during the handshake, that is a lie)
Raila has been vocal on the need to amend the constitution, although his critics accuse him of wanting to create more posts for him and his allies, thus burdening the already overtaxed Kenyans more.
“…We are ready for a referendum. those who want to ease the burden for Kenyans and those who want to increase it. Let them agree on what they want and on the dates, and let them not say the results have been stolen,” he said.
There is a growing national conversation with suggestions for a change in government structure to cut the burgeoning wage bill.
Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria and political analyst Mutahi Ngunyi are among the voices that have backed the call.
The lawmaker said he will only support efforts to change the Constitution if the idea is to ease the burden on Kenyans.
Opponents, however, expressed fears that the vote will lead to a bloated government, hence unlikely to change the huge wage bill equation.
Amani leader Musalia Mudavadi and Ford Kenya’s Moses Wetang’ula – all NASA principals, have rebuffed the call to change the supreme law.