Referendum Call Premature/expensive, Says Wamalwa
Any plans for a constitutional referendum must come after the full implementation of the constitution, the New Ford Kenya party has said. Party leader Eugene Wamalwa said the current impasse between governors and the national government on increasing county budgetary allocations is a matter that can be resolved through consultations.
He said subjecting Kenyans to an expensive referendum process when the country is entering the final stage of the constitution implementation is unnecesssary and premature.
Wamalwa urged President Uhuru Kenyatta and the Council of Governor to use existing mechanisms and forums to resolve the impasse. He was speaking at the end of a two-day party retreat in Nakuru on Friday.
The treat was attended by the National Executive Committee, MPs, MCAs and governors. Acknowledging that the concerns raised by the opposition in its clamour for a referendum are valid, Wamalwa said it is prudent for Kenyans to wait until the constitution is fully implemented before conducting an audit of issues to be resolved through a referendum.
“If we rush into holding one now, then next year, after the implementation is complete, other quarters will voice new concerns. We cannot be holding referendums every year,” he said.
Wamalwa faulted Parliament for delaying bills needed for the final stage of implementing the constitution.
“There are six pending bills that were supposed to be passed this August, but are yet to be debated. We urge Parliament to work overtime and seek an extension to pass these bills,” he said.
In a statement signed by secretary general Benjamin Muema, the part said it opposes the new law creating County Development Boards. They said the law is against devolution.
“Though the law was well-intended to create transparency and accountability, its constitutionality is questionable. We support the governors’ move to challenge it in court,” reads the statement.
Wamalwa was with Bungoma Senator Kenneth Lusaka, former MP Musikari Kombo, Saboti MP Lazaro Wafula, Trans Nzoia women’s representative Janet Nangabo and her Bungoma counterpart Reginalda Wanyonyi.