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Raila: BBI not meant to make Uhuru PM

By Boniface Gikandi | February 25th 2020

ODM leader Raila Odinga has dismissed claims that the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) is intended to extend President Uhuru Kenyatta’s stay in power.

ODM leader Raila Odinga has dismissed claims that the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) is intended to extend President Uhuru Kenyatta’s stay in power.

Speaking during a burial in Murang’a yesterday, Raila said BBI is not intended to create a Prime Minister's position for Uhuru or pave way for him to ascend to the presidency.

“The BBI process which was birthed by the handshake is not meant to enable Raila to be president or to make Uhuru a prime minister," the ODM leader said.

"Not at all. This (BBI) is meant for prosperity for the people of Kenya.” He accused critics of BBI of trying to water down its importance.

"We want to tell them that the BBI train left the station a long time ago. It is unstoppable,” said Raila.

He defended leaders who spoke during a BBI rally in Narok on Saturday, saying they have the freedom of expression.

Narok Senator Ledama ole Kina had particularly been cited for making inflammatory statements during the Saturday rally. He has denied any wrongdoing.

“We are in a democratic country and therefore we should allow all voices to be heard," Raila said.

While addressing Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen who was also present in Murang'a, Raila said: "those of your political persuasion should wait for the rallies. We will soon be in Eldoret where they can air their views.”

Speaking at the same time, Siaya senator James Orengo said nothing sinister will be sneaked into the BBI report.

 He said the reform process was designed to unite the country.

“The restructuring of the Executive will ensure Members of Parliament are appointed into Cabinet," Orengo said.

Nominated Senator Isaac Mwaura said if the concept of MPs being appointed in Cabinet will be endorsed, then senators should be empowered to play the oversight role on them.

Mr Murkomen said he was disturbed with the divisive politics witnessed in Narok. The speeches made in Narok, he said, were tribal.

During the burial, Murang’a Governor Mwangi wa Iria, MPs Sabina Chege, Ndindi Nyoro,  Joseph Nduati, Peter Kimari, Moses Kuria Gatundu South  and former Gatanga MP Peter Kenneth all agreed constitutional reform was important.

Mr Kuria said their was need for a meeting to be attended by Uhuru, Ruto, Raila, Musalia Mudavadi and Kalonzo Musyoka to chart the BBI way forward.

Wa Iria urged leaders not to politicise BBI.

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