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We will find way for BBI to go on, assures Raila

POLITICS
By Nehemiah Okwembah | July 21st 2021
ODM leader Raila Odinga [centre], Mombasa County Governor Ali Hassan Joho [2nd left], Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir [left] and Dr. Vinesh Vaghella [right] during the tour of Coast General Teaching and Referral Hospital in Mombasa. [Omondi Onyango, Standard]

Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga has hinted at an alternative path for the proposed Constitutional Amendment Bill 2022, halted by the High Court on May 13.

An appellant court has set August 20 as the date to deliver its judgement on an appeal against the High Court's verdict to stop changes to the law proposed by the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).

Speaking in Dabaso, Kilifi North, yesterday, Raila said Kenyans' quest to change the supreme law was unstoppable, hinting at 'plan B' although he did not elaborate.

"The BBI that we had brought was about changing the way Kenya is governed and bring equity in terms of development and more allocation to counties. That is why we want BBI to go on. Even if it is being blocked we shall find a way out of that so that it goes through,” he said. 

The ODM leader has intensified his campaigns at the Coast where he is meeting opinion leaders and officials from his party as he seeks to consolidate his support base.

On Monday, Deputy President William Ruto concluded a tour at the Coast where he castigated proponents of the BBI, saying it was a ploy to create positions for a few people.

Ruto said the country's leadership should focus on creating business opportunities and jobs for the masses and not to overburden them with a referendum.

Yesterday, Raila toured Kilifi before heading to Lamu. On Monday he toured development projects in Tana River County.

President Uhuru Kenyatta also arrived at the Coast last evening for a series of tours in the region.

The president is expected to tour all the six counties at the Coast to launch or inspect national and county government development projects.

During his visit, Ruto inspected projects funded by National Government Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF) of MPs allied to him.

Yesterday, Raila visited Devolution Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Gideon Mung’aro, who lost his father at the latter’s Dabaso family home in Watamu, Kilifi County. 

The ODM leader faulted those opposed to change of the constitution, saying they were selfish politicians with no vision to improve the lives of Kenyans. 

In an indirect attack on Ruto, Raila said the DP's proposed model of improving the lives of Kenyans was baseless and would leave more citizens poorer. 

“They want to give the youth wheelbarrows and handouts, but we are saying what the youth need is a special fund protected by law that they will get and start entrepreneurship and pay after seven years,” he said. 

The ODM chief was accompanied by Kilifi Senator Stewards Madzayo, nominated Senator Christine Zawadi, MPs Teddy Mwambire of Ganze, Aldulswamad Sharrif of Mvita, his Suna East counterpart Junet Mohammed and Kilifi women representative Getrude Mbeyu. 

The leaders said they were prepared for a Raila presidency next year, adding that Ruto would be the next opposition leader. 

Junet, who is also the ODM Director of Elections, said party officials would meet next week to decide who will be its presidential candidate.

Mung’aro said he had done a lot as a government official and it was time for him to take over the county government of Kilifi.

“There are those who said they had abandoned Raila and had joined government but they have delivered nothing important other than distributing wheelbarrows to the youth,” he said. 

Mwambire, Madzayo and Saburi all said Raila will be the president come 2022, adding that they were in talks with Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho and his Kakamega counterpart Wycliffe Oparanya to shelve their presidential ambitions in support of Raila. 

“We are in talks with Joho and I am sure our counterparts in Western are in talks with Oparanya so that they all support Baba in 2022,” said Saburi. 

Junet said those against the constitutional changes were selfish politicians.

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