The national assembly Majority Leader who is also the Garissa Township MP Aden Duale has said Northern Kenya leaders will not vote for the referendum currently spearheaded by Dr Ekur Okot of the Thirdway Alliance because ” we will not agree with the reduction of our constituencies”. He termed the Thirdway Alliance push for a referendum ”a side show”saying the government is already allocating 31-34% of national revenues to counties and not prudent to subject the people of Kenya to a referendum when already what the referendum is expected to achieve is happening. Duale said the elected leaders of Northern Kenya will agree to oppose the passing of the Referendum bill that is soon to reach County assemblies. For the bill to proceed to parliament and for Presidential assent, it has to be passed by at least 24 of the 47 county assemblies and national assembly. Duale said that it is against the Bill of Rights to deny people representation and ”when we were promulgating the 2010 constitution, we looked at both the population and land mass and a county like Marsabit in NFD is the size of Central Province, Western, Nyanza and Nairobi combined and you want to tell us that it will be represented by only one MP”
Duale said MCAs who will vote for the bill are calling for the scrapping of their respective national assembly constituencies and we will see to it that it does not happen”
The Punguza Mzigo campaign for a referendum to amend the constitution is spearheaded by Thirdway Alliance but is widely believed to be working at the behest of the handshake team led by President Uhuru and leader of Opposition Raila Odinga. Critics of the handshake claim that the referendum is a sideshow and pushed by forces who want ”to introduce Prime Minister and deputy prime ministerial positions to reward individuals, a claim refuted by the handshake supporters. The referendum drive which has entered its second leg is likely to drive the two teams further apart.