Confusion as Raila Rejects Plan B Crafted to Save BBI Should the Appeal Fail

Confusion as Raila Rejects Plan B Crafted to Save BBI Should the Appeal Fail

Confusion has emerged after Raila Odinga categorically rejected an alternative plan crafted to see the BBI recommendations sail through should the appeal against a ruling that declared the BBI process illegal fail.

Odinga has distanced himself from the group of legislators drawn from across the political divide who are pushing for the implementation of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) bill through parliament.

The former Prime Minister maintained that the amendment process should envisage the voice of the people, rather than be implemented by parliament as it is a popular initiative.

“I am not part of the caucus. I have told its promoters that Kenyans should be allowed to make the ultimate decision through the referendum,” Raila told the Sunday Nation on May 30.

Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo is among those linked with the initiative and is believed to be part of the caucus, though the details of their proposal remain unknown.

According to the fiery lawmaker, the proposals of the BBI bill should be enacted by October or November 2021, paving the way for the country to hold the next general elections under a new dispensation.

“There isn’t enough time to conduct a referendum as envisaged in the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI). For now a referendum is out of question,” the Senate Minority Whip was quoted by Sunday Nation as saying.

In a candid interview, Kilonzo stated that proponents of the BBI need a plan B should the court dismiss the the appeal challenging an earlier ruling that declared the BBI process illegal.

The caucus, allegedly comprising lawmakers from various camps is seeking to see the amendments realized through the national assembly, maintaining that parliament is a viable option following the unpredictable nature of court proceedings.

The group has reportedly reached out to former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, Deputy President William Ruto, President Uhuru Kenyatta, ANC Leader Musalia Mudavadi, Wiper-Kenya Leader Kalonzo Musyoka, KANU leader Gideon Moi to build consensus and enlist their support.

However, BBI Secretariat co-chair Junet Mohammed argued that the proposal by the caucus is amounts to sabotaging the constitutional amendment process.

He argued that the group is undermining President Kenyatta’s reform agenda.

“There is no law that stipulates when the country should hold a referendum,” he said.

“Whose aim is it to send the country on a wild goose chase? They want to hijack BBI which is at its tail end. Why do they want to make it a parliamentary process?

“There is enough time to hold a referendum. The referendum is a one-day process. We will be patient with the court process,” Junet said.

Stacy Wanjiru

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