Raila says BBI report out soon, hits out at critics

ODM leader Raila Odinga. [Stafford Ondego/Standard]

ODM leader Raila Odinga has challenged leaders opposed to Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) to provide alternative solutions for the country.

Speaking yesterday at the Orange party’s National Executive Council (NEC) retreat, Raila said the BBI evaluation report will soon be unveiled adding that forces that have always opposed change and voices of impunity that thrive on corruption and outright lies have already ganged up against it.

Our opponents

“We must challenge our opponents to tell the nation why they oppose efforts to ensure shared prosperity, end corruption, end divisive elections and strengthen devolution. What is their alternative to these proposed reforms?” posed Raila.

In what appeared to be a thinly veiled attack at DP William Ruto, who has faulted BBI’s agenda, Raila said the anti-reform forces are the same ones that opposed a return to multi-party democracy, opposed the push for constitutional reforms in the 1990s and opposed the new Constitution in 2010.

“These anti-reform forces are the same ones who opposed the unity of purpose between President Uhuru Kenyatta and myself, the same ones who are opposing the war on corruption now. But because they have no conscience, no ideals and no principles that they are ready and willing to live and even die for, they have always benefited from the fruits of what they opposed and they see no contradiction,” said Raila.

“We have defeated these forces before. I promise you, we will defeat them again. We must take the battle to our opponents and challenge them to state what they stand for, what they want for the country and how they intend to achieve it,” Raila said.

Raila said ODM has always cleared new pathways and opened new roads so that Kenya and Kenyans can move forward, adding that it is a mission the party shall never shy away from nor abandon.

He explained that the changes they are pursuing are in the best interest of the nation and will create opportunities for everyone.

Peaceful elections

“We are talking about how to grow the national cake so that we can have prosperity to share, how to make our elections peaceful and democratic, how to strengthen devolution, how to ensure safety and security for all our citizens,” he said.

He added that under the BBI, Kenyans are engaging each other on how to end corruption which has crippled this country but continues to be the lifeblood of those opposing change today as they have done in the past.

“As a party, we must not shy away from nor be distracted in our effort to build a truly prosperous nation with a vibrant and inclusive economy that eradicates poverty, inequality and creates jobs for our youth,” said Raila.

He said Kenyans do not need freebies like wheelbarrows, Tuk Tuks, mikokoteni, water tanks among others but good sound policies which will create wealth for all.

The ODM leader has previously faulted the DP’s approach in making donations to groups and churches.

“We must be unrelenting and unapologetic in our support for war on corruption,” he said.

And to succeed in the reform agenda, Raila sought the help of veterans and civil society organisations to forge new alliances and strengthen existing ones with the aim of getting the country to move forward.

“We need to re-engage with the veterans of the reform movement in the country and let them know that our country needs their services, sacrifices and experiences again,” he said.

He said the existing alliance with the pro-reform wing of Jubilee led by President Uhuru Kenyatta has seen the country move forward in critical areas like fighting corruption and initiating key development projects evenly to more parts of the country.

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