Their push got a boost last week after Chama Cha Mashinani leader Isaac Ruto, who boasts huge grassroots mobilisation skills, indicated he could join the movement.

The CCM boss and Mr Moi are Mr Ruto’s key political nightmares in the Rift Valley, and their joining forces could greatly decimate the DP’s base.

In 2005, a section of Narc and Kanu politicians successfully campaigned against changes to the Constitution through a referendum, and their victory birthed the Orange Democratic Movement.

Mr Odinga rode that wave to garner more than 100 positions in Parliament in the following General Election, held in 2007.

Most critically, he used his pole position to give Mr Mwai Kibaki a scare at the presidential ballot.

Mr Kibaki was declared winner, leading to protests from the Odinga camp that grew into a bloody confrontation.

After months of political turmoil, the two formed the Grand Coalition Government, with Mr Odinga as the Prime Minister.


Mr Odinga is now confident the country will hold a referendum next year under the BBI. “We don’t want to conduct a constitutional change just for the sake of it,” he said.

“The BBI-backed referendum will be a product of public participation through which Kenyans have given their input on how they want to be ruled.”

Mr Musyoka has equally made it public that his party is behind the BBI, and terms the Punguza Mizigo initiative as “poison offered in a golden chalice”.

Mr Mudavadi and Mr Wetang’ula have equally criticised Mr Aukot’s drive, with the former terming its suggestions “impractical” while the latter argues it is pursuing a “narrow agenda only focusing on elective positions”.

Jubilee Party secretary-general Raphael Tuju said the party is fully behind the BBI, which he noted is an initiative of the Government, “so it’s a little bit stretching for us to have an initiative by the government and our party leader and be preoccupied in any way with a parallel initiative”. He was referring to the Punguza Mizigo bid.


ODM secretary-general Edwin Sifuna said it was only by coincidence that other parties were sharing similar views on the looming referendum, “so the support is not choreographed”; while Ford-Kenya’s Eseli Simiyu said “there was more tranquillity and unity in the country during the Grand Coalition regime of Mr Kibaki and Mr Odinga because everybody felt involved in the government”.

“A parliamentary system is a better solution than this purely presidential one,” he added. “If that will mean a convergence of views with all these political formations, so be it.”

Kanu secretary-general Nick Salat said the party does not want the push for a referendum to lead to acrimony in the country.

“We’ve massacred each other at every election, isn’t that reason enough to find a lasting solution on how we can stop these massacres?” he posed.

“We want inclusivity. No Kenyan should be left out. We want a Kenya that belongs to every community. We want communities to feel part of the system. This is what will address what has been ailing us as a nation,” he added.

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