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Sunday, May 30, 2010

FOREIGNERS FUNDING YES

By Vitalis Kimutai

Higher Education Minister William Ruto has accused foreign countries of forcing Kenyans to adopt a faulty constitution.

Mr Ruto singled out America, Britain and Germany as the countries pushing for adoption of the Proposed Constitution without regard to the the contentious issues.

"Every day, we are being reminded that US President Barack Obama, the British and German governments want Kenya to pass the Proposed Constitution yet they are not asking how Kenyans feel about the document," Ruto said.

"This is a Kenyan document that will be used by locals and not foreigners. Why is it important for us to get foreigners’ opinion on the document and not that of the locals who will be using it?" he said.

Ruto said the Proposed Constitution had already split the country on religious grounds and this did not augur well for unity among the people of the various faiths.

"Christians and Muslims have lived happily together in this country before and after independence," Ruto said.

He claimed adoption of the Proposed Constitution would force Kenya adopt international treaties, including laws of same sex marriages, without the issues passing through Parliament.

"In a scenario like the recent case of US President (Obama) legalising gays and lesbians’ rights in the US Army, Kenya would be forced to do the same," Ruto said at a fundraiser at Maili Nne Primary School in his Eldoret North constituency. He accused the Committee of Experts (CoEs) of being sympathetic to the ‘Yes’ team in the constitutional referendum.

Ruto said the CoEs were drumming up support for adoption of the Proposed Constitution in the course of the carrying out civic education in the country.

civic education

He said the Government should only release civic education funds to the CoEs on condition the team will not take sides in the exercise.

Ruto said public funds should not be used in a process that is lopsided and one that would work against the tenets of democracy.

"Ministers on the ‘Yes’ side have been crying publicly over delayed funding of civic education programmes yet the ones who are being blamed are also on ‘Yes’ team. We do not want to hear that," Ruto said.

"No Kenyans should listen to the CoEs on matters of the Proposed law because they sneaked in contentious clauses to the document even after we harmonised it in the Naivasha retreat," he said.

He added: "CoEs are going round the country saying the Proposed Constitution is good for the country instead of leaving the voters to decide," Ruto claimed.

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