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A section of Meru women oppose calls for referendum

A  section of women in Meru County have opposed the “Punguza Mizigo” referendum, saying that it is a waste of tax- payers’ money.

Led by Jubilee Nominated MCA at Meru County Assembly, Makena  Thuranira, the section of women said that they do not support the call for a referendum being called by the Third Way Alliance Party.

The women pointed out that the call for referendum is meant to eliminate seats meant for women in both the National Assembly and the Senate.

The women said that they have been fighting to have more women in leadership positions during the next election.

“Women play a vital role in the community hence trying to eliminate sits created by the constitution was not in good faith” they said.

Meanwhile, residents in Mt. Elgon constituency in Bungoma County have expressed different opinions concerning the referendum propositions recently put forward by Third-Way Alliance Party leader Dr. Ekuru Aukot.

Speaking at his office in Kapsokwony on Monday, Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) Mt. Elgon branch secretary, Stephen Chemonges said that the “punguza mzigo” campaign will not do much for Kenyans if corruption is not dealt with.

Chemonges added that instead of talking about reducing the recurrent expenditure Aukot should include better means of curbing corruption in his referendum bill so that taxpayers money can be used appropriately.

Alfred Kwemoi, a resident also echoed similar sentiments, saying that Kenyans will not be unburdened in any way if corruption is not dealt with first before the referendum is considered.

However, both Chemonges and Kwemoi hold the opinion that the roles of women representatives and deputy governors should be outlined clearly in the constitution instead of lobbying for their removal.

Amidst all this Kenyans are still waiting to see if the bill will pass the threshold of successfully being approved by 24 county assemblies as required by the law before progressing to the national assembly.

However, the Elections Observation Group (ELOG) has in Nairobi raised the questions over the authenticity and reliability of the signature verification process of the Punguza Mizigo conducted by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

ELOG  observed that some of the signatures that had been appended against individuals’ names were conspicuously uniform.

ELOG  noted the failure of the IEBC to publish the 1.2 million signatures that they approved in the Punguza Mizigo initiative hence not giving Kenyans an opportunity to ascertain if indeed the said signatures were given in their consent.

ELOG has therefore called upon the IEBC to publish the list of names in the Kenya gazette or in any public medium so that the voters can confirm that they signed the petition.

According to the ELOG National Coordinator, Mule Musau this will be essential to authenticate the process, enhance transparency and avoid litigation.

“IEBC should have published the names and signatures of the citizens to confirm whether they consented over petition for public scrutiny,” said Musau.

ELOG  observed that the exercise had cases of names that shared similar ID numbers while others lacked details of ID numbers and signatures.

ELOG  further identified that IEBC had no funds set aside to carry out the exercise. For that reason, it has called upon the government to establish an electoral fund that will give the commission independence and autonomy in budgeting and execution of its mandate.

By  KNA  Team

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