Raila Odinga remains steadfast in push for law review

ODM leader Raila Odinga addresses a thanksgiving ceremony of ODM politician John Loisa at Enkorika, Kajiado Central, on April 28, 2018. He has endorsed constitutional changes. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • The steering committee will have 14 members, seven each from Nasa and Jubilee.
  • Mr Odinga recommended a three-tier system that retains the counties, but creates regional governments.

Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga has maintained that the push to amend the Constitution is unstoppable.

He made the remarks as it emerged that the steering committee to spearhead a common agenda between him and President Uhuru Kenyatta will be unveiled next week.

Currently, the team has only two members, ambassador Martin Kimani – representing President Kenyatta – and lawyer Paul Mwangi for Mr Odinga.

The steering committee will have 14 members, seven each from Nasa and Jubilee.

Yesterday, Mr Odinga said devolution will only succeed with a change in the Constitution even as he defended the handshake with Mr Kenyatta, saying they were not under pressure from foreign nations.

“We have a Constitution, but it is not working. That is why President Kenyatta and I decided to come together for the sake of changing what needs to be changed,” Mr Odinga said as he presided over a thanksgiving ceremony for ODM politician John Loisa at Enkorika in Kajiado Central constituency.

Mr Loisa, who lost the Enkorika ward elections, organised the event to thank the people for supporting his bid.

Businessman Jimi Wanjigi and MPs George Aladwa (Makadara) and Memusi Kanchory (Kajiado Central) accompanied Mr Odinga.

Mr Wanjigi, while describing Mr Odinga as a brother and friend said: “We will not abandon you. We will support the direction you guide us on.”

Mr Memusi called for an inclusive committee in order to effectively deliver its mandate.

In his address during devolution conference in Kakamega, Mr Odinga recommended a three-tier system that retains the counties, but creates regional governments – former provincial headquarters – and retains the national government at the apex with a clear formula for revenue-sharing.

“Let us also have people from this region in that team to review the constitution,” Mr Memusi said.

Speaking at the function, Mr Odinga defended his push for a constitutional review saying he was not looking for a job, a remark which appeared to be in response to deputy president William Ruto who while closing the Devolution Conference in Kakamega on Thursday termed the calls for a three-tier system as aimed at creating jobs for politicians.

“I want to tell those opposed to the review that Raila Odinga is not looking for a job from anybody.

"I am satisfied with where I am now. I am fighting for all Kenyans to ensure that they live a good life and if there is anything that I will do to make their lives better, I will not hesitate to do it,” Mr Odinga said.

He also noted that he is not after succeeding President Kenyatta in 2022.

President Kenyatta’s second and last five-year term ends in 2022 and politicians among them Mr Ruto, Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka, ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi and Kanu’s Gideon Moi are all jostling to succeed the president.   

“I am not looking for positions like others are doing. It is about the welfare of Kenyans,” Mr Odinga said adding; “That is the reason we did the handshake in broad daylight like the leaders of South and North Korea have done for the good of their countries.”