Raila: BBI to help fix problems in the current Constitution

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ODM party leader, Mr  Raila Odinga, during a meeting with the party’s Nairobi County  MCAs. PHOTO/ODM

By DOUGLAS KARANJA

Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) will heal the nation and lead to meaningful changes to the Constitution  ODM party leader, Mr  Raila Odinga, has said.

Mr Odinga said during the referendum campaign that led to the passing and subsequent promulgation of the current Constitution popularly referred to as the 2010 Constitution, it was agreed that the document was not 100 percent perfect hence the need for its review.

Speaking when he held a consultative meeting with party Members of the Nairobi County Assembly at a Nairobi hotel, Mr Odinga said the BBI report will soon be out and will propose the way forward on how to fix a myriad of issues affecting Kenyans.

“One of the aims of the BBI is to end tribalism in our country” he said. “We want a country where one will appreciate being referred to as a Kenyan and not by his/her tribe,” added the ODM leader.

He said, once made public, recommendations in the BBI report will be subjected to public participation where Kenyans will be required to read and make suggestions on the way forward.

The ODM leader announced that the party will early next year hold grassroots elections to make it stronger. He said the exercise will be free, fair and transparent and will be aimed at injecting new blood in the party leadership right from the village level to the top.

“We have begun the process of membership recruitment. We are doing it digitally and I want to encourage as many people as possible to join the party and help us build a stronger political party institution,” he said.

Meanwhile, the ODM leader has asked the new Minority Leader in the Nairobi County Assembly Mr. David Njilithia Mberia to ensure equal representation of party/coalition Members of the County Assembly in the Committees of the Assembly to avoid uneasiness among the MCAs.

ODM party leader, Mr  Raila Odinga with new Minority Leader of Nairobi County  Assembly, Mr David Mberia. PHOTO/ODM

He said, the role of County Assemblies is to put checks and balances on County Governments for efficiency and effective delivery of services to the people. “We fought so hard for devolution and we should not make it fail by frequent wrangling, you must defend it at all costs” said Mr. Odinga.

The ODM leader who is also the African Union High Representative for Infrastructure Development advised Members of County Assemblies across the country to conduct themselves with dignity and decorum and avoid violence when resolving issues.

“You are honourable members, you must exercise high level of discipline and conduct yourselves with decorum. You must be role models to those aspiring to become leaders tomorrow,” he said.

The ODM Secretary General Edwin Sifuna called on the party Members of the Nairobi County Assembly to work together as a team in order to achieve the goal that is service delivery to the people.

“You are a strong team and this was evident during the just concluded by-election in Kibra”, said Mr. Sifuna. “I want the new Minority Leader (Mr. Mberia) to be open and transparent in discharging his duties to avoid causing dissatisfaction among members.”

The ODM chairman for Nairobi County George Aladwa reiterated the need for loyalty among party members which he said was paramount in the growth of any political party.

“For ODM to move forward and form the next government, loyalty is paramount. We should have respect for the party leadership and respect decisions they make,” the Makadara MP said.

During the meeting, the immediate former Leader of Minority in the Nairobi County Assembly Mr Elias Otieno promised to support his successor Mr. Mberia saying that it was in the interest of the party.

“I am going to work with and support Mberia in his new mandate. I am for the unity of the party MCAs and my wish is to see us discharge our duties diligently as members of one family,” he said.

All the ODM/Coalition MCAs were present. The meeting was also attended by the ODM Executive Director Mr Oduor Ong’wen.

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