Raila forum to whip party MCAs to back law change

By Baraka Karama
Monday, February 1st, 2021
ODM leader Raila Odinga (centre) with Vihiga Governor Wilberforce Ottichilo and his Kakamega counterpart Wycliffe Oparanya.
In summary

Opposition chief Raila Odinga’s Orange party will hold a meeting with all ward reps allied to it to whip them to support the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).

With the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill approved by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and sent to the country Assemblies for endorsement, the ward reps are expected to play a significant role in determining the fate of the initiative.

Raila is also keen to maintain his political grip of Nyanza region by laying out elaborate strategies that would see the document receive overwhelming support.

Through a letter signed ODM executive director Oduor Ongwen, the leaders were asked to assemble in Nairobi tomorrow.

“In enhancing our working relations with members of County Assemblies, we hereby invite all ODM members of the County Assembly for a consultative meeting on Monday February 1 in Nairobi (the date was later pushed to February 2). By this message, you are hereby requested to notify all our members to attend.

The venue will be communicated in due course. The meeting starts at exactly 8:30am and is for ALL ODM MCAs,” reads the invitation.

And speaking in Vihiga where he met youths from the county, Raila asked residents to pass the bill, saying it is good for the country.

He called upon leaders in the county, led by Governor Wilber Ottichilo, to rally support for the BBI that is set to culminate in a referendum.

Hii si wakati wa mchezo. Hii BBI ndio itabadilisha maisha ya wakenya. Wale wanapinga ni matepali ambao wanataka kudanganya wakenya ndio maana wanabeba pesa mingi kwa gunia kudanganya wakenya wakatae BBI (This is not play time.

BBI will change the lives of Kenyans and those opposing it are just hoodwinking Kenyans and that is why they are using money to convince them to oppose BBI,” he said.

Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya, who was in the meeting, assured Raila of the support of the region with regards.

“Kakamega and all the county assemblies in Western region will pass the BBI.

We are aware of those who are against development in the region and we will not support them,” he said.

Yesterday ODM party secretary general Edwin Sifuna confirmed today’s meeting, saying it was compulsory for all MCAs.

“It’s an important meeting for all members of the party and important issues will be discussed where members will also receive the communication from the party leader.”

A number of MCAs who spoke to the People Daily said they had started civic education on the BBI ahead of the tabling of the relevant bill in their Assemblies.

Kisumu’s Majority leader Kenneth Onyango said, “We have been instructed by our boss to ensure we move with speed to debate and pass the bill”.

Onyango confirmed that the party leader is clear on the time line Mcas from his backyard should take to debate and pass the bill.

Speaking in his Siaya county backyard on Saturday Odinga said “ the buck now stops with Mcas to do what is required of them and pass the bill so that we move forward”.

Already Kisumu, Siaya, Homa Bay and Migori county assembly speakers have already communicated with their respective Mcas about the bill.

Last week Kisumu county assembly speaker Elisha Oraro in a special gazzette notice cut short the long recess of the Mcas to debate the bill next week.

Siaya county assembly speaker George Okode has also announced the kick off process by inviting members to present their views. 

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