Raila Odinga in Embu for referendum push

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Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga was in the Jubilee stronghold of Mt Kenya East region from Friday to collect signatures for the Okoa Kenya referendum push.

ODM party's communications director Philip Etale said Mr Odinga would be at Kathegeri grounds in Embu’s Jubilee stronghold to urge the residents to sign up in large numbers for the vote.

Apart from signature collection, the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy leader will also address a public rally.

Already, elders from Embu County have started collecting signatures in support of the 'pesa mashinani' campaign being spearheaded by the Council of Governors.

Mr Odinga will later take the campaigns for the referendum to ensure money allocated to the counties is increased to more than 40 per cent of national budget to Meru County.

OPEN AN ODM OFFICE

The former Prime Minister will hold a meeting with leaders at Gitoro Conference Centre before opening an ODM office at Gitimbine in Meru Town.

The MP will later be in Maua Town before presiding over a leaders meeting at Maua Stadium.

Leaders in the Mt Kenya East region are divided over the support for the referendum by both Cord and the Council of Governors.

Senate Majority Leader Kithure Kindiki, who is also Tharaka Nithi governor, is leading a strong opposition to the calls for the votes saying they were meant disrupt development activities and end President Kenyatta and William Ruto's rule prematurely.

Meru Governor Peter Munya and a number of colleagues and Members of County Assemblies are, however, in full support of the referendum being pushed by governors to protect devolution and take more money to the counties.

Mr Munya chairs a team of governors mandated to spearhead the referendum push and has warned that no amount of intimidation from top Jubilee leaders would make him backtrack.

In Embu, a council of elders members are already collecting signatures in support of the governor's call while in Meru, ODM supporters are leading the hunt.

Meanwhile, Deputy President William Ruto is also expected to tour Meru County on Sunday to try and counter the gains made by Cord in the push for referendum.
 
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