ANC party leader Musalia Mudavadi has urged leaders to desist from presenting referendum calls as a chance for them to get more seats and positions in leadership, while at the same time criticizing the Punguza Mizigo initiative for focusing on representation instead of the real challenges facing Kenyans. Speaking at Moi Girls Vokoli high school in Vihiga, Mudavadi said a referendum shouldn’t be held to benefit leaders, “We want a referendum that will help common citizens. Let it not be that we want a referendum, because leaders want to share seats,” he said, “If we sell the referendum like that it will have problems with the citizens.”
The ANC leader faulted the main highlight of Ekuru Aukot’s Punguza Mizigo Bill, the leadership representation burden. He said it doesn’t correspond to the issues facing Kenyans on the ground, “We should not try to make representation synonymous with the challenges that the country is facing in the context of tough economic times,” he said. He added in order for the burden on Kenyans to be dealt with, theft of resources and debt must be reduced, youth employment dealt with and ensure factories are up and running as people are earning, “That’s when we shall reduce the burden as stipulated by Ekuru Aukot.”
The Punguza Mizigo initiative has received a wide range of criticisms, with some leaders looking to shoot it down as soon as possible. With the BBI team set to present its proposals to President Uhuru Kenyatta and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, it remains to be seen if the initiative will prove crucial at any point.