Uhuru hints at looming referendum as he advocates for constitution to be changed

"We must end winner takes it all"

President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday gave the strongest hint of a looming referendum after he advocated for constitutional changes that will strengthen the decade-old Kenyan constitution.

President Kenyatta said that while the 2010 constitution has been hailed world-over, there was need to adjust it and improve it for the future.

The President borrowed heavily from the BBI proponents who have called for the Executive to be expended as a solution for the winner takes it all approach.

"Instead of a cease-fire document that enforces a zero-sum game in which the winner takes it all, the moment calls us to create a constitutional order that will long endure. And on this, I want to emphasize that we must not go for the populist path. Let us choose the bold path; that path that will assure Kenyans of sustained peace and security, and shared economic prosperity," Kenyatta advised.

Kenyatta also called on the team that is against constitutional changes to stop seeing it as a rigid document but rather as work in progress.

"The spirit of this constitution was meant to reconcile our past with the present in order to secure our future. But the crafters of this social contract also told us that the new constitution was a ‘work in progress’. And as such, we were made to adopt it with the promise that in the future, we will make it better."

"We must not succumb to the paralysis of constitutional rigidity. We must treat a constitution as a living document that must constantly adjust to our emerging realities," the President stated.

Many, but not all, of the constitutional changes seeking to change the structure of governance would require a referendum which has been criticized by a section of Kenyans as unnecessarily expensive.

President Kenyatta hailed the recent trend where the country has recorded relatively low numbers of Covid19 cases - referred as flattening of the curve.

"The country's positivity rate has fallen from a high of 15 percent in June to a low of 8 percent. We are nearing the 5 percent rate recommended by the WHO for a total reopening of the economy," the head of state said.

Kenya has so far recorded a total number of 32,803 Covid19 cases, out of which 19,055 have recovered. The death toll stands at 559.


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