ODM leader Raila Odinga seems to have resigned his position that the BBI Report would not be amended, a decision which was agreed upon in a meeting with Members of Parliament (National Assembly and Senate) during a retreat to Naivasha on November 2, 2020.
On November 9, Odinga met leaders from the pastoralist communities in Nairobi where he promised to consider their concerns about being left out of the process.
“I appreciate having had a robust and candid discussion with leaders from pastoralist communities this morning.
ODM leader Raila Odinga in a press conference with members of the Pastoralist Parliamentary Group on November 9, 2020
“Their views on the BBI process that they expressed support for, are welcome and shall be taken into consideration as we formulate the way forward for our nation,” the ODM leader announced.
He explained that their concerns included revenue sharing, the equalization fund and having the livestock marketing authority, given that it was the communities’ primary economic activity.
“The pastoralists have lagged behind because we have always missed out on the table where national policies were discussed and developed.
“It is, therefore, time for us to take a lead role in the BBI process and ensure that our interests are well entrenched in the document as well as the subsequent Constitutional amendments,” stated Eldas MP Adan Keynan who is also the secretary to the Jubilee Coalition’s Parliamentary Group.
The leaders elected three representatives who would meet the BBI technical team to iron out their concerns. Among those present in the meeting included Treasury CS Ukur Yattani, Mining and Petroleum CS John Munyes and Senate Majority Leader Samuel Poghiso.
The news was well-received by Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen who had complained that Deputy President William Ruto’s concerns and suggestions in the BBI report were locked out.
“Well done. Glad you’ve rescinded your earlier hardline position that BBI won’t be amended. Now let’s amend the document to capture concerns of pastoralists, evolutionists, Judiciary etc then pass BBI by consensus. We don’t want us vs them attitude. Let’s reason together as Kenyans,” he offered.
DP Ruto has already declared that his support for the referendum would be pegged on whether amendments would be allowed in sectors touching on the Judiciary, Executive and the IEBC.
“Pastoralists, the church, women, Senate and other stakeholders want consensus on the BBI. It’s a contradiction to want to amend the Constitution while refusing to amend a mere report (BBI). It’s defeatist to build walls to shut others out while purporting to build bridges,” he stated in a past tweet.
Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has stirred emotion with his social media message alleging that ODM leader survived an assassination attempt in 2017.
In the post which was shared across his social media platforms on Sunday evening, November 8, Sonko appeared to express concerns over what he termed as dictatorship tendencies in Africa.
Sonko posted a video that recounted the events of November 17, 2017, when Odinga returned to a heroic welcome at JKIA.
Opposition leader Raila Odinga greets his supporters outside the JKIA(above) in Nairobi after returning from the United States, November 17, 2017
Kenyans who had gone to the airport to receive the ODM leader were engaged in running battles with police officers who hurled teargas canisters to disperse them.
Raila’s daughter Winnie would later recount the events, offering details on how the former prime minister was almost shot while inside his car.
“The most frightening moment was when a bullet hit the windscreen and shattered it. Had it not been a bulletproof car, that bullet would have hit Mzee. Two bullets also hit the car on the side I was sitting,” Winnie stated at the time.
Authorities refuted the claims, arguing that no bullets were used on that particular day.
Many of Sonko’s followers questioned why the governor was making reference to the 2017 incident, given that Odinga had already made peace with President Uhuru Kenyatta.
A number of Kenyans argued that the county boss was wittily trying to get back at the Head of State by trying to force a rift between him and Odinga.
“You’re saying this now because you’ve been sidelined by State House. Otherwise, why didn’t you reveal this when it mattered?” a Facebook user by the name Chuck queried.
“The handshake cleaned everything. We have moved on. Baba himself is not opening the past. If Baba was to open the past, he could not even have attended Nyayo’s burial,” Ambehi Ogalo offered.
“You are overtaken by events. If you could have said it before, Major Mbadi couldn’t have taken your place. We don’t need it now. Maybe if you concentrate on the current BBI issue and spill the beans at an appropriate time maybe,” Keya Ibrahim suggested.
This comes just hours after Sonko hit out at Uhuru and NMS Director-General Mohamed Badi in yet another post for failing to deliver services to the people of Nairobi.
The governor has gone from claiming that President Kenyatta is too young to retire to asking US President-elect Joe Biden to deal with dictatorial leadership in Africa, citing himself as a potential victim.
Since he signed over 4 critical functions to the national government, Sonko has cut a lone figure.
The governor also seems to have lost his influence in the Nairobi County Assembly with an overwhelming majority of MCAs rejecting his memorandum in the budget allocated to Nairobi Metropolitan Services Director General Mohamed Badi.
“The committee of the whole House has considered the reservations by the Governor and overwhelmingly voted to reject them with 88 MCAs voting against it,” said John Kamangu, the chairperson.