ODM Leader Raila Odinga has called for a meeting with party factions after they differed over the adoption and implementation of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).
The fate of the Constitution Amendment Bill 2020 has been threatened after leaders in the former Prime Minister's inner circle clashed over the BBI bill. The most contested matter has been the expansion of the executive and the introduction of 70 new constituencies.
Raila's lawyer and BBI Secretariat joint secretary Paul Mwangi argued that the bill risks being thrown out after parliament opened the bill. He stated that parliament had no right to open the report, which will thus render it illegal and raises stakes of its rejection.
"I have personally adviced Mr. Odinga, as his personal advisor, that if he allows the reopening of the report, that will be the end of BBI. Parliament has to come to terms with the fact that its role here is not final. It's the people who will have a final say on the document," Mwangi had stated.
However, other leaders in the party led by Senate Minority Leader James Orengo and Rarieda Member of Parliament Otiende Amollo have indicated the possibility of the report being opened, though insisting that parliament is not the rubber stamp.
Raila was set to meet the leaders yesterday, April 19, 2021, at his Karen residence but the meeting as rescheduled after two of the leaders were absent, attending a retreat of the joint parliamentary legal affairs committee at Windsor Hotel.
A source close to the former premier has indicated that the meeting will be held on April 21 or April 22, after the committee concludes its determination on the draft bill.
The source, however, revealed that Raila may cancel the meetings if the issue is solved by the committee adding that they will strictly follow the deliberations of the joint committee on the BBI.
Yesterday, experts led by University of Nairobi lecturer Collins Odote and Professor Patricia Kameri-Mbote adviced the joint committee against reopening the document.
Today, the joint committee will discuss the report based on the presentation by the six experts before writing a final draft of the bill.
The source revealed that Raila will make his stand to his team clear- that the report should not be reopened.
"He feels that opening the document now is not tenable as it will open a Pandora's box on what next after it has been amended, does it go back to the county assemblies?" The source was quoted by Daily Nation on April 20, as saying.
The source added that Raila fears reopening the document may invite another protracted process.