Orengo: Multiple-choice referendum not possible under Kenyan law


Orengo: Multiple-choice referendum not possible under Kenyan law
Siaya Senator James Orengo during past court proceedings. PHOTO/COURTESY

Siaya Senator James Orengo has dismissed Deputy President William Ruto’s call for a multiple-choice referendum, saying that it is not recognized under the Kenyan law.

The legislator was speaking in Gem on Saturday.

According to Senator Orengo, those people  claiming there can be a multiple-choice referendum in the country are lying to Kenyans because they know the provisions are not in the constitution of Kenya.

He stated that when it comes to issues of the referendum to change the constitution of Kenya, the law provides for a very clear process which ends on the referendum vote on a Bill and not on a multiple-choice question.

“There are those who continue to propagate the lie that we can have a multiple choice referendum, this is not true because there is not such provision in the current Kenyan law,” Senator Orengo said.

The lawmaker stated that the Deputy President ought to have pushed for a constitutional amendment way back to provide for such provisions, noting that late the BBI train has already left the station.

According to Senator Orengo,  Kenyans will be going to a referendum where everyone will have a chance to voter either  Yes or No to the proposed constitutional amendments.

Deputy President William Ruto and his allies who are critical of the referendum  had made a proposition to have the referendum conducted alongside the 2022 General Election.

While appearing for a TV interview with Citizen TV on Thursday, DP Ruto said combining the two would save the taxpayer tonnes of money and allow the country more focus on the coronavirus pandemic.

And on Saturday while attending the burial of the late Matungu MP Justus Murunga, DP Ruto reiterated that it was still not too late to reach consensus on the referendum instead of holding a divisive one.

The Deputy President said it was wrong for some leaders to claim that having multiple choice referendum questions was cumbersome for Kenyans, yet during elections Kenyans have the option of electing six different leaders.

“It is fallacy for some leaders to tell us it’s too much for Kenyans to have several questions during a referendum, yet they can elect six leaders at the same time,” said Dr Ruto.

He added: “There is no need to hurry on issues of Constitution. The other time you told us “wakati wa katiba ni sasa na kama sio sasa ni sasa hivi’ (the time is now) Now we are at it again rushing this BBI issue. Why the hurry?” asked Dr Ruto.

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Story By George Amolo
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