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We have enough troops, ODM whips MPs to support BBI in entirety

By Patrick Vidija | April 27th 2021

National Assembly Minority Leader John Mbadi at parliament buildings on April 27, 2021. [Elvis Ogina]

Just hours to the crucial deliberation on BBI bill in Parliament, ODM is whipping its members to support the proposed law in its entirety.

This is after it emerged that a section of the pact members who sat in the joint committee on Legal and Justice Affairs proposed some changes including the how-to anchor the controversial schedule of the 70 constituencies in law.

ODM Chairman John Mbadi in a statement to newsrooms stressed on the importance to pass the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment), Bill 2020 spearheaded by President Uhuru Kenyatta and party leader Raila Odinga.

Mbadi's Party position now settles the alleged rift within its members that some allied to Senate Minority Leader Senator James Orengo were pushing for changes opposed by a section allied to Raila's legal counsel Paul Mwangi.

"I called you here to make clear the position of the orange Democratic Movement on that Bill and to advise all our MPs to align themselves accordingly. It is the party’s position that Parliament should pass the BBI Bill as it is, in its entirety," he said.

Mbadi said statecraft is an exercise in constant negotiations and give and take.

"In that process, you win some and lose some but you soldier on. That is the case with the BBI and the Bill it has produced. As a party, we may not have got everything we had wished for. In fact, no party has got everything it wished for," he said.

The Gwassi MP said there are some very important gains in the BBI that should not be thrown out just because ODM did not get everything.

"ODM has always advocated for strengthening of Devolved units and increased funding for those units. The BBI Bill increases funding to counties and extends funds to the wards. That is a gain we can’t throw away," he said.

He added, "ODM has been very vocal on fighting corruption. The BBI Bill has some very practical and radical proposals on how to stop corruption from being a way of life in Kenya. We do not want to throw away those proposals".

Mbadi argues that ODM has always stood up for equitable sharing of the wealth of the nation.

"Equity has been our rallying call as a party since our inception. The BBI has some very solid proposals on how to ensure shared prosperity in the country. We do not want to throw away those proposals," he said.

According to Mbadi, ODM supporters have borne the brunt of election violence in the country and the BBI has some solid proposals on how to end the culture of election violence and the winner takes all brand of our politics.

"We don’t want to lose those proposals. The BBI Bill has some very solid proposals on how to help our youth and turn them into innovators and entrepreneurs, how to make them creators and not seekers of jobs, and how to make them self-reliant. We do not want to lose those gains," he said.

"And for the first time, this country is confronting the question of how to ensure productivity through industrialisation and enhanced manufacturing. That is a gain in the BBI that we cannot afford to lose," he added.

Mbadi said in this regard ODM stands in full support of the Bill and calls for its passage in totality.

"We urge President Kenyatta and the ODM leader Raila Odinga to soldier on. Mr President and Rt Hon Raila Odinga, get this assurance from us as a party that you have enough troops both behind you and by your sides to help you push this agenda through. Do not be afraid. Do not be distracted. Do not be blackmailed. We are in this battle together," Mbadi said.


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