BBI: James Orengo accuses politicians of abandoning Raila Odinga

Siaya Senator James Orengo

Siaya Senator James Orengo addresses mourners at a funeral in Siaya County on May 22, 2021. 

Photo credit: Tonny Omondi | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • The lawmaker, while reiterating his support for ODM leader Raila Odinga, said it is unfortunate that some leaders opt to desert him in his moments of crises.

Siaya Senator James Orengo has expressed confidence that an appeal against a ruling that nullified the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) process will be successful.

Mr Orengo said so on Saturday while accusing a section of politicians in the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) of abandoning the party in its time of need.

The lawmaker, while reiterating his support for ODM leader Raila Odinga, said it is unfortunate that some leaders opt to desert him in his moments of crises.

"At times like this, you hear some asking where Orengo is but they will be the first people to castigate me on false allegations that I am fighting our party leader," he said on Saturday in Siaya.

The Senate minority said most of these politicians have no capacity to defend the party as evidenced through its past circumstances.

"It is only a handful who turned up when we wanted to swear-in Mr Odinga as the people's president at Uhuru Park on January 30, 2018.

"Among others, we only had Ruaraka MP TJ Kajwang and Miguna Miguna, who took active roles that led President Uhuru Kenyatta to shake hands with Mr Odinga," he said.

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Senator Orengo called on BBI supporters not to give up but prepare to vote for the constitutional amendments before the end of the year ahead of the 2022 General Election.

"I want you to understand that nothing comes easy. It takes a lot of effort for us to achieve anything good, just like it happened for the 2010 Constitution," Mr Orengo said at the funeral of former South East Alego MCA Joshua Osuri.

He also asked ODM supporters to pray for them as they prepare to appeal the BBI judgment this week.

Mr Orengo and Rarieda MP Otiende Amollo are among the lawyers expected to mount a major fight to salvage the BBI after a five-judge bench of the High Court ruled it did not meet the constitutional threshold.

The two, who were recently accused of going against the party’s position on the constitutional amendment, also played critical roles in defending Nasa team and Mr Odinga at the Supreme Court in 2017.

Edwin Sifuna says all ODM leaders support BBI Bill

ODM Secretary-General Edwin Sifuna asked Cabinet secretaries interested in joining politics to do so, if they have what it takes, instead of using government machinery to intimidate opponents.

In apparent reference to Interior CS Fred Matiang’i, he said: "In the case of the Bonchari by-election, it was unfair for the CS to use the police and guns to scare others.”

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