Orange Democratic Movement leader Raila Odinga has accused Deputy President William Ruto of fermenting opposition against reforms envisaged through the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).
Speaking in Diani yesterday, Raila said the DP was wrong to incite opposition to the document even before its publication was finalised. Last week, Ruto led a spirited campaign during his tour at the Coast opposing the BBI, a document that has been fronted by President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila.
Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho also accused Ruto of trying to incite a class war by depicting himself as a poor boy fighting a wealthy nemesis. Joho claimed Ruto cannot explain the source of his immense wealth.
Raila said it was wrong for leaders to oppose issues without a justified principle just to spite their rivals. He predicted that the DP will lead the “red carders” in opposing changes proposed in the BBI.
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At the same time, Kwale Senator Issa Juma Boy also hit at Ruto, who he said was opposing the BBI the same way he opposed the promulgation of the 2010 Constitution.
“Those who are opposing (proposed changes) are the same ones who opposed the new Constitution during the 2010 referendum,” he said. “You will soon see them waving the red card.”
According to Raila, Ruto and his allies orchestrated a divisive campaign that opposed the 2010 Constitution on the pretext that the proposed draft was imperfect.
“This is where you see the hypocrisy in our politics. They took us through a heated campaign saying the proposed Constitution (2010) was 20 per cent defective,” said Raila. “But we said although it was imperfect, it was better to implement it in order to understand its weaknesses.”
The former prime minister added that in 2010 Ruto went all over the country planting hurdles for the new law, demanding that the proposed charter be rectified before being placed to a vote.
“They insisted that the draft Constitution should be rectified first. Now when the time has come to rectify what you were opposing you are telling us no way, there is no need,” Raila averred.
He added that it was dishonest of Ruto to begin orchestrating opposition to the BBI report before it is published since he does not know its contents.
Raila also weighed in on the disputed revenue sharing formula in the Senate by proposing that the Sh316 billion shared revenue be divided using the second generation formula proposed by the Commission for Revenue Allocation (CRA).
He said he held discussions with CRA and the commission agreed to revise the third generation formula to accommodate the interests of less populated counties as well as those dependent on fishing, tourism and pastoralism.
Raila revealed that CRA has agreed to make amends within the next three months.
“My proposal is that since there is no more addition on the county allocation cash which remains at Sh316 billion, we should use last year’s formula as CRA corrects the third generation formula that should be through before the start of the next financial year to avoid a similar stalemate,” he said and appealed to senators to support his proposal to unlock the stalemate.
“I am now asking you people of Kwale to allow me to ask your senator Juma Boy to vote for my proposals in the Senate next week.”
Raila also indicated that reform proposals through the BBI will be processed through the Senate and National Assembly as well as county assemblies before being put to a vote at a referendum.
The opposition leader assured ODM members and aspirants for Msambweni by-election that the nomination process will be free and fair.
He has said the party will first do an opinion poll to ascertain which candidate is popular enough to be given the ODM certificate. He stressed that if the process will not be agreeable to all, the party will conduct nominations through the ballot.
Joho said Ruto’s hustler narrative that he has propagated for long is based on lies. According to Joho, the DP has made his wealth from unexplained sources. “He pretends to be poor but when he came here last week he flew in with six helicopters,” said Joho.