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Reforms will not raise our wage bill, Raila tells Kenyans

By Sunday Standard team | October 25th 2020

ODM leader Raila Odinga (left) joins other leaders in a dance during the burial of the late John Luchera, a relative of Kakamega governor Wycliffe Oparanya, yesterday. [Benjamin Sakwa, Standard]

The proposed restructuring of government envisioned in the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report will not lead to a bloated wage bill, ODM leader Raila Odinga has affirmed.

Speaking yesterday in Siaya, Raila said this was propaganda peddled by those against the gains the document would bring.

He reiterated the need to have constitutional reforms through BBI, which he said contains the remedy to many problems facing Kenya.

“The document has proposed the position of a Prime Minister and two deputies. These people will be Members of Parliament, and will be earning as such, with just small allowances for their additional responsibilities,” Raila said.

The opposition chief noted that this will be cheaper as opposed to the structure used during his power sharing deal with former president Mwai Kibaki where the Prime Minister was co-governing with the President.

Elaborate proposals

Raila said the document has elaborate proposals, which would tackle joblessness, education, economy and governance issues.

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“The money allocated to counties is currently being consumed by salaries with nothing left for development. This is the reason we are raising the allocation to the counties from 10 to 35 per cent, which will see counties have enough for development,” Raila said in Lwanda village Ugunja, Siaya County, at a burial.

He urged residents to read the BBI report so that they can all support it. Raila also dismissed those urging him to retire from active politics, insisting that he has the responsibility to midwife Kenya’s third liberation.

Speaking separately at Mabole Primary school in Butere, at the requiem mass of John Luchera, a relative of Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya, the former Prime Minister said he is determined to liberate Kenyans from poverty, corruption and marginalisation. He took issue with Deputy President William Ruto for offering simple interventions to problems facing the youth.

“He (Ruto) appears to have started learning of the problems people are facing too late. He has been in government for over seven years, it surprises that he never realised it earlier,” said Raila.

Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa said devolution was the biggest winner in the proposed changes.

“I can look every Kenyan in the eye and tell them confidently that the winner in BBI is devolution because of the 35 per cent allocation,” said Mr Wamalwa.

In the Luanda burial, Siaya senator James Orengo asked residents to stand firm and not be misled by people peddling lies. His sentiments were echoed by Ugunja MP James Wandayi who asked the people of Siaya to ensure they become part of the changes.

He said the route taken by President Kenyatta and Raila is important and will save Kenya.

[John Shilitsa, Brian Kisanji Kevin Omollo and Isaiah Gwengi]

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