BBI is meant to expand government, says Raila
Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga has reiterated his handshake with President Uhuru Kenyatta and the Building Bridges Initiative are meant to unite Kenyans, expand the government and support devolution for all Kenyans to benefit.
Consequently, the former Premier has blamed critics of the Initiative, saying it will not succeed in curtailing it for selfish interest.
He says the BBI will address discrimination against gender, uneven distribution of resources, unemployment and fight poverty which have bedeviled the country for long, adding he agreed with the President to address the challenges through the Building Bridges Initiative ( BBI) to foster peace and development.
Speaking at Rianyachuba primary in Bobasi constituency during the burial of journalist Dennis Onsarigo’s father, David Onsarigo, 76, Raila said the country’s population has grown from eight million during independence to 47 million while the national cake has not expanded, creating challenges .
“People sleep hungry, graduates have no jobs and elderly persons have no allowances. We want to increase the cake to benefit all Kenyans,” Raila said.
The ODM leader, accompanied by Governors- James Ongwae, Kisii, Granton Samboja, Taita Taveta, Wyclife Oparanya, Kakamega, Mps- Richard Onyonka, Kitutu Chache South, Janet Onge’ra, Kisii County, Innocent Obiri, Bobasi, Junet Mohamed, Suna East, Senators- James Orengo, Siaya and Okongo Omogeni, Nyamira and County Assembly Speaker, David Kombo blamed some leaders for giving youth wheelbarrows, saying they cannot solve their problems.
Raila, who delivered a condolence message for Interior cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiangi and Senator Prof. Sam Ongeri likened leaders against the BBI to a madman who took clothes of a person who was bathing and the former started chasing him naked.
“President Uhuru Kenyatta and I are not madmen. Those ones running away with our clothes are madmen,” Raila said ostensibly referring to the handshake and the BBI.
He defended the BBI against attacks by some leaders, stressing he is doing good work and should be left free to discharge his mandate to Kenyans.
Terming Covid-19 a devil which had confined Kenyans to homes and forced them to cover their mouths and keep social distances, he told Kenyans to unite and defeat it for normalcy to return to the country.
“We are at home due to coronavirus. We cover our mouths and do not go closer to each other. I urge Kenyans to be patient. It will end,” Raila told mourners before he was blessed with holy water by father Richard Nyangoto.
Kisii Catholic diocese bishop, Joseph Mairura, who presided mass for Onsarigo said Raila was a warrior, freedom fighter and likened him to great grandfather, Lwanda Magere.
The bishop urged Kenyans to fight for unity and stressed: “All rivers from Gusii end up in lake Victoria. So we are all united with natural features including mountains.”
Obiri said Raila and Orengo were beaten during the second liberation as they fought for freedom and urged the former prime minister to spearhead a fight against corruption.
He said Raila had policies which promoted human rights and fought graft while he was in the opposition and urged him to embrace the same while in government.
“I support the handshake and look forward to seeing good leadership through the Building Bridges Initiative,” Obiri said.
Onyonka told Deputy President William Ruto to stop dividing Kenyans through premature campaigns using the hustler movement tag, stressing that he should not break the country.
He challenged Ruto to stop telling youth the country will be ruled by hustlers, adding some youth were using the chance to abuse cabinet minister Matiang’i for no reason.
“Matiangi is ours even if he is bad. We work with Raila and Uhuru. Ruto should prepare for 2035,” Onyonka told mourners.
“Kenyans want peace and unity. They do not want classes or divisions between rich and poor. We have one country,” Ong’era said.
Suna East MP Junet Mohamed said Kisiis are hard working and it was shameful for the Deputy President to give them wheelbarrows and yet they own vehicles which ferry passengers to various destinations across the country.
He said the Deputy President is hell bent to divide Kenyans and cause chaos, adding he has been in the government for eight years and he cannot fight it from within.
“Ruto is lying that he is a hustler while he eats and wipes his mouth. He should also stop abusing Matiangi,” Mohamed said.
Orengo said the Deputy President sits with Matiang’I in the cabinet and challenged him to raise any issues he has with him in the Cabinet instead of abusing him.
The Siaya Senator said parliament passed the Security Laws and Amendment Bill which empowered police and other organs of government, adding Ruto and his Mps supported it.
“If Ruto sees tear gas and police vehicles. It is the law we passed,” Orengo said, adding Uhuru and Raila want to bring changes to enhance peace and development in the country.
Oparanya, who is the Council of Governors chairman, challenged leaders who have started the 2022 premature campaigns to leave them and allow the governors serving second terms to work and leave a legacy.
The governor said Western Kenya has been supporting Raila’s presidential bid and will continue until he wins the country’s top seat.
He lauded President Uhuru for signing for funds to be channeled to counties, adding the counties had challenges for three months they never received funds from the exchequer.
Samboja, who led members of the public to endorse Raila for Presidency even if he has not declared, adding he is near it and needs support for it to be a reality.
“Nyanza people have supported Raila for long. He is near the seat and I urge you to support him,” Samboja said.
He supported the BBI, saying it will help increase funds to counties to enhance devolution and lauded president Uhuru and Raila for putting the interest of the country first.
Ongwae said he supports the BBI and urged Kenyans to support it, saying it will foster unity and development.