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Nairobi — Kenya’s plans to amend the constitution to curb divisive politics and election violence risk backfiring as President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy, William Ruto, pull in different directions.

Sweeping changes to the structure of the government were outlined in the Building Bridges Initiative, which was agreed between Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga and aimed at preventing a repeat of hostilities that ensued after a disputed presidential election in 2017. That vote was nullified by the supreme court and saw Odinga boycott the rerun...

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