President Uhuru Kenyatta and his former rival cum strong supporter Raila Odinga are reportedly preparing for a less confrontational referendum approach.
The two leaders reconciled last year and are now waiting for recommendations by Building Bridges Initiative taskforce which was given mandate to work on reconciliation.
BBI team finished it's work last week and is expected to table recommendations which would eventually pave way for a referendum that would bring about constitutional changes.
According to the Daily Nation, the two leaders want to reach all to all major parties so that they can support a referendum through consensus.
“The plan by the two was to have all political players and leaders join hands and back the referendum so that Kenyans could have constitutional change via consensus, but the reality is that Deputy President William Ruto’s allies have shown lukewarm support for the BBI and could lead opposition to it,” a source close President Kenyatta and Mr Odinga said.
He added: “The political class was to take the BBI referendum push jointly to the people for ratification. Mr Kenyatta’s and Mr Odinga’s advisers felt that if the two worked together the other political class would play ball.”
Although it's only Deputy President William Ruto who is yet to publicly support BBI, Uhuru-Raila have already reached out to Musalia Mudavadi, Moses Wetangula and Kalonzo Musyoka.
Baringo Senator Gideon Moi and CCM leader Isaac Ruto are also warming up for the referendum. By bringing all major parties together, the two leaders want the referendum that is scheduled for next year to have minimum opposition.
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”.
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.