With less than one month remaining until the much anticipated August 4 referendum on Kenya's proposed new constitution, political and religious leaders are trading accusations over the alleged involvement of foreign Christians and politicians in the charged campaigns.
At separate campaign rallies on recent weekends, opponents of the proposed draft accused the Obama administration of meddling while supporters alleged a plot by American and European church organizations to defeat the draft.
One of the major proponents of the draft, Prime Minister Raila Odinga, charged that those opposed to the constitution had received millions of Kenyan shillings from church organizations based in the United States and Europe.
"All they are doing is traverse different parts of the country using their campaigns to mislead Kenyans about the proposed constitution after receiving funding from foreign organizations, but they will not succeed in their mission," Odinga was quoted as saying.
On the other hand, a campaign rally convened by draft opponents accused President Barack Obama of seeking to force Kenyans to accept a flawed constitution.
"The U.S. President is a child of Kenya, but we are asking his administration to let Kenyans define their course. He should also not tie his proposed visit to the country to the passing of the constitution," said William Ruto, the Minister of Higher Education who has defied both Odinga and President Mwai Kibaki and thrown in his lot with church leaders opposed to the new constitution.
The East African nation is approaching the referendum with divisions widening every day. Most church leaders have teamed up with opposition politicians, insisting the current draft is flawed and should not be passed without amendments. ...1