Home News Referendum debate can trigger conflict, peace group warn

Referendum debate can trigger conflict, peace group warn

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[KEKOSCE Executive director Phyllis Muema at her office. Photo/Maxwell Ngala]

Coast peace groups have cautioned politicians over the ongoing referendum debate that’s has gained momentum.

The peace lobbies say that the referendum debate has attracted heated political exchange that hinders national unity and cohesion.

Led by Coast based peace lobby Kenya Community Support Centre, the peace activists said the debate has taken a political twist hence politically dividing the country four years to the 2022 general elections

Speaking in Mombasa on Monday KECOSCE’s Executive director Phyllis Muema said that politicians have diverted the real constitutional issues and focused more on political posts to be created through the intended constitutional amendments.

Muema said that many Kenyans do not know the content of the current constitution since the government did not offer civic education and they are heavily relying on what politicians will tell them.

She noted that the ‘Bridging Bridges Initiative’ famously known as the ‘Handshake’ has been overtaken by the heated referendum dialogue thus denying the public the opportunity to air their views on national unity concerns.

“We are a truly politicking nation, the 2022 politics started immediately after the August 2017 general election, the trend threatens national unity,” noted Ms Muema.

She noted with concern the manner in which the referendum debate is being handled across the political divide.

“Whose referendum is it? Is it for Kenyans or politicians? Kenyans must be very careful or else we are plunging the country into political conflict,” she warned.

Muema said that though the debate was health for the nation, it was totally mishandled and Kenyans will engage in political and tribal hatred.

She appealed to the political divide to cease politicising the referendum debate and trade cautiously so that they do not cause mayhem in the country.

While addressing journalists in Mombasa on Monday, Siaya Senator James Orengo rubbished Deputy President William Ruto’s remarks of supporting the referendum saying that the DP was insincere and asked him to go through the ‘Okoa Kenya’ demands that NASA presented to IEBC in 2016.