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I won't move to Supreme Court if BBI appeal case flops, Raila says

NATIONAL
By Harold Odhiambo | August 18th 2021

ODM leader Raila Odinga at the launch of 'Azimio la Umoja' road map in Nakuru County. [Emmanuel Wanson, Standard]

ODM leader Raila Odinga has ruled out moving to the Supreme Court should the Court of Appeal rule against the push to amend the Constitution.

Speaking on Radio Nam Lolwe, Raila said his focus is on 2022 General Election and he will revisit the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) after Kenyans go to the ballot.

A seven-judge bench of the Court of Appeal will tomorrow deliver judgement on the BBI appeal lodged by President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila, seeking to overturn the decision by the five-judge bench at the High Court that slammed the breaks on 'reggae'.

“We will not move to the Supreme Court if the court dismisses BBI. Our focus now is on elections but we will come back for BBI after elections,” said Raila whose Handshake with President Kenyatta birthed the BBI process to amend the law after the divisive 2017 presidential polls.

The ODM leader and the president have exuded confidence that the appellate court will rule in their favour.

But the pronouncement by Raila now points to a decision by the proponents not to let the BBI factor influence succession politics.

This puts to question plans to amend the Constitution that he and Uhuru had invested time and energy in the past two years, under the nine-point agenda which put them at loggerhead with Deputy President William Ruto.

Dr Ruto has opposed BBI, saying it has derailed government agenda.

Yesterday, Tharaka Nithi Senator Kithure Kindiki exuded confidence that the court will not overturn the BBI ruling.

“No court in Kenya or regionally can overturn the BBI ruling delivered in June," said Prof Kindiki.

“It is legally irredeemable. Raila's remarks that he will not move to the Supreme Court if the judgement of the Appellate court is not in his favour, shows he has accepted the BBI fate on Friday,” he added.

The senator argued plans to revive the BBI after the elections will amount to nothing if the proposals remain the same. 

"The future endeavour will only sail through if the sponsors change context and procedural hygiene," he said.

ODM leader Raila Odinga. [Harun Wathari, Standard]

On Tuesday, the ODM leader announced his road map to the 2022 presidential race.

As part of plans to build a momentum for his bid, Raila has planned several meetings in Nyanza, Western, Coast and Nairobi with the first set to take place in Sikri, Homa Bay today.

“We will have a meeting in Homa Bay where we will speak and share about where we want to go,” he said.

Raila will then pitch tent in Kakamega before traveling to Coast.

Raila will hope to use the visits to win more supporters and lock out Ruto, who has made inroads in regions that overwhelmingly voted for ODM in 2017.

He also plans to hold meetings with leaders in North Eastern, Central and Nairobi.

He dismissed claims that the DP has several MPs across the country in his fold.

“Most of those MPs will not come back. With us, our focus is on the people,” said Raila.

ODM leader Raila Odinga. [Harun Wathari, Standard]

Raila revealed plans to work with One Kenya Alliance (OKA) principals - Kanu chairman Gideon Moi, ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi, Ford Kenya's Senator Moses Wetang'ula and Wiper's Kalonzo Musyoka.

“We want to form a coalition of the willing. We want everyone on board and we are still in talks,” he said.

His agenda, he said, is to tackle corruption, enhance unity, stability, social cohesion and religious diversity.

“We want to address corruption, tribalism and improve the lives of Kenyans,” said Raila.

His allies have embarked on grassroots mobilisation for mass registration of voters.

The leaders who spoke at a funeral in Homa Bay over the weekend, said they will focus on rallying voters to support Raila’s State House bid.

Download the BBI Judgement by all seven Judges - Civil Appeal No. E291 of 2021
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