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Odinga vehemently denies pushing for changes in the constitution

ODM Leader RailaOdinga has vehemently denied claims that he is using his newfound unity with President Uhuru Kenyatta to instigate constitutional changes.

Odinga was responding to reports published by sections of the media to the effect that he asked members of the Muslim community to support the referendum when he visited Mombasa last week.

He insists that he is in no position to agitate for anything at the moment given that issues that need to be addressed have been placed squarely in the hands of the Building Bridges to a New Kenya Initiative that was launched immediately after his handshake with President Kenyatta.

“All issues regarding any reforms have been referred by President Uhuru Kenyatta and Mr. Odinga to a team of advisors under the Building Bridges Initiative. It is this team that will recommend to the two patrons of the initiative what steps should be taken to tackle the National challenges this country is facing as captured by the nine-point agenda of the initiative.” Odinga said in a statement.

Hardly any will deny Odinga has to a great extent altered his approach to politics ever since his infamous March 9th handshake with President Uhuru Kenyatta. Odinga would previously comment on any matter shaping public discourse but is nowadays keen to detach himself from any controversy.

On Saturday Odinga was forced to shed light on his stand on the much talked about the referendum, especially because this clamor was being pushed by his key allies in the Orange Democratic Movement.

“Mr. Odinga does not seek to propose any reform initiative and shall await the report of the team of advisors. That is what he said at the Iftar dinner in Mombasa. Any publication purporting that he has done otherwise is, therefore, both erroneous and malicious.” read a statement from his spokesperson Dennis Onyango

Even so, members of President Kenyatta’s Jubilee party led by Deputy President William Ruto are adamant that the former Prime Minister must henceforth stop demanding a review of the constitution.

He said any discussion on a possible referendum should not be aimed at creating other governance structures.

“We must ensure that the focus is on the people and how best to realize tangible development. Leaders must know that the country and the constitution are not about us, but about the people and service delivery,” the DP reiterated.

After a long silence on the referendum debate, President Kenyatta also made known his true position on the matter a fortnight ago.

“I want to deliver on the promises we made to Kenyans. Changing the constitution will not solve the problems we have. But engaging with the private sector on manufacturing like we are doing well,” he said.

But his standpoint on the referendum is not the only issue Odinga had to address. On Sunday, the ODM leader was fighting reports claiming his quiet scheme to have the cabinet reshuffled.

The reports that were published in sections of the media indicated that President Kenyatta may be forced to sack some of the cabinet secretaries in connection to corruption.

In effect the reports claimed that a number of Odinga’s allies would greatly benefit in the event there was a restructuring of the executive. Through a statement, Odinga termed the reports as “malicious, retrogressive and diversionary and merely meant to undermine the war on graft”.

“H.E. RailaOdinga has read with deep concern and disappointment reports appearing in the Standard Newspapers of an alleged looming reshuffle in government as a result of the ongoing corruption probe and his hand in the so-called reshuffle.” Read part of the statement from his spokesperson Dennis Onyango

Raila says he takes great exceptions to this attempt to use his name to provide refuge to the corrupt by implying that the crackdown on graft is merely an attempt by him to take “his people” into government.”

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Author: Correspondent Eric Biegon

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