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Vol 51 No 13

Published 25th June 2010


The battle for the basic law

Campaigning for next month’s constitutional referendum is a mixture of ideology, religion and personal ambition – and now the thugs have moved in

The main open disagreements in the lead up to Kenya’s constitutional referendum on 4 August are about abortion, Muslim kadhi courts and land. The battle between the green Yeses and the red Noes is heating up, since William Ruto, the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) Minister of Higher Education, hitched on to the coat-tails of Christian clerics and his own Rift Valley majimboists to block the Yes campaign. Majimboism is a type of super-federalism that many link to the state-orchestrated ethnic clashes under Daniel arap Moi’s Presidency in the 1990s. At the same time, his party leader, Prime Minister Raila Odinga, has declared himself a Yes vote with President Mwai Kibaki, as part of Odinga’s relentless pursuit of the presidency in 2012. The issues and the political manoeuvres are enmeshed.

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