Raila urges BBI opponents to read the report

ODM leader Raila Odinga addressing mourners at Mabole Primary School in Butere, Kakamega county on October 25, 2020 during the burial of late John Luchera, a cousin to Governor Wycliffe Oparanya. Odinga urged all Kenyans to support the BBI report.

Photo credit: Isaac Wale | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Odinga sought to allay fears that the implementing BBI could result in a bloated wage bill.
  • He said the prime minister, for instance, will be a lawmaker earning a salary of an MP and allowances for performing functions of the office. 

Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga yesterday took the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) campaigns to Siaya and Kakamega, where he appealed to Kenyans to support the proposals when they are presented in a referendum.

Mr Odinga, at the same time, sought to allay fears that the implementing BBI could result in a bloated wage bill on account of the new offices, especially in the Executive. 

He said the prime minister, for instance, will be a lawmaker earning a salary of an MP and allowances for performing functions of the office. 

Mr Odinga added that the new government would be different from the Grand Coalition one that he formed with President Mwai Kibaki from 2008 to 2013.

He also defended the creation of the position of two PMs, explaining that one will help the premier handle government matters while the other will play a significant role in Parliament. 

“I have been telling you that there are several ways of killing a cat that has turned feral. We will ultimately get to our political destination,” he said.

The ODM leader added that he and President Uhuru Kenyatta signed a pact that binds them together until they bequeath the country a new constitutional dispensation. 

Third revolution

He said they have agreed to push for a third revolution.

During the burial of Ms Grace Wandera in Luanda-Doho, Siaya county, Mr Odinga said the union between him and the President will not be broken.

Mr Odinga was accompanied by Siaya Senator James Orengo, Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi, County Assembly Speaker George Okode and several other leaders.

“We swore to deliver a new country by coming up with a roadmap that will ensure challenges that have bedevilled Kenya since independence are addressed conclusively. We are doing this for prosperity, not for positions,” he said. 

He added that Kenyans need to rally behind efforts to end corruption, ethnic divisions, unemployment and marginalisation.

“We must get to the root of the problems facing this country. We must make our education system meet the demands of the job market to end widespread unemployment,” he said. 

“Young people should be empowered economically and not through handouts. No country can develop through tokenism. That’s why we are vouching for a long-lasting solutions through the BBI.”

He said Kenya has had problems since independence. To fix the problems, he said, Kenyans have to adapt new strategies. 

“The problems afflicting the country need long term solutions. The country was united at independence. Kenyans were optimistic people in 1963,” he said, adding that to get back on track, it is important to go down memory lane.

Handshake

He said that is the reason he and the President shook hands on March 9, 2018.

“Those who opposed BBI even before the report was out now have the opportunity to read the document and understand. Let them not mislead the country,” the ODM chief said. 

He told Kenyans to be wary of leaders who use handouts to lure them, saying it is a trap to have the majority remain poor forever. 

In Butere, where he was accompanied by Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya, Mr Odinga said prior to the handshake, he sat with Mr Kenyatta and discussed the divisions in the country. 

He said they agreed to come up with a model that would end the standoff. He added that they drafted a nine-point memo and shook hands as a sign of peace. 

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