Editor's Review

ODM Leader Raila Odinga's camp is divided over the BBI bill, a thing that is threatening to derail the constitutional amendment process. 

A section of ODM Members of Parliament has endorsed the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) bill in its entirety, distancing the Raila Odinga-led party from a section of MPs who signed a parliamentary report that labels sections of the proposed constitutional amendments unconstitutional.

A joint parliamentary committee report revealed how the legislators avoided breaking the law to amend the constitution. 

ODM Director of Political Affairs Opiyo Wandayi led a group of 14 MPs in refuting allegations of divisions within the ODM Party, distancing the party from the actions of Senate Minority Leader James Orengo, Rarieda MP Otiende Amollo, and Nyamira Senator Okong'o Omogeni.

The three lawmakers are signatories to a majority report that declares the proposal to create 70 new constituencies as unconstitutional, a thing which rattles Raila's camp as well as President Uhuru Kenyatta and his camp.

The report will be deliberated by the National Assembly on Wednesday, April 28, and Thursday, April 29, 2021.

Though the BBI advocates for the addition of 70 new constituencies which makes them 360, the distribution of the new units across 28 counties was declared unconstitutional as it subverts the role of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

National Assembly Minority Whip Junet Mohammed, Kisumu West MP Olago Aluoch, and Homa Bay Town MP Peter Kaluma did not append their signatures for the majority report. They criticised the decision.

Yesterday, Wandayi in the company of six other MPs affirmed their support for the BBI Bill, arguing that the emergence of contradicting documents was a last-ditch effort by opponents of the bill to derail its implementation, allegedly denying people the benefits it bears.

'This bill has been endorsed by an overwhelming majority of county assemblies after being embraced by millions of people of Kenya. It is in this context that we have convened here as elected leaders to express singular and undivided support for the BBI as endorsed by the people of Kenya and a majority of county assemblies," Wandayi stated.

The Ugunja MP reiterated that ODM will not betray the March 2018 handshake between Raila and President Kenyatta, adding that parliament has not right in amending the bill.

He said that the MPs could only endorse or oppose the BBI document in its entirety, calling those asking for amendments as, "delusional".

The findings in the majority report are said to threaten the BBI process and are not welcome to the Raila and President Kenyatta camps, who came out to voice strong support for the report a day they were handed over to Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka and his National Assembly counterpart Justin Muturi.