No cause for alarm over BBI project, Raila assures

Tuesday, May 25th, 2021 00:00 |
ODM leader Raila Odinga addresses a crowd at the Kisumu bus stage yesterday. He toured a number of projects at the lake-side city. Photo/PD/Viola Kosome

Orange Democratic Movement (ODM)  party leader Raila Odinga yesterday made his first public appearance in over a month and declared that the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) process is on track.

An upbeat Raila, while addressing a crowd at Kondele in Kisumu County dismissed the recent court ruling that halted the Constitution making process, terming it a minor setback that will be overcome in due course.

“What you saw are small temptations that will soon be over. I told you that the journey to Canaan will face many challenges and that is just one of them,” Raila told the cheering crowd while flanked by Kisumu Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o.

He expressed confidence that the proponents of the BBI process will soon register a major victory in the corridors of justice, alluding to several appeals being drafted by various parties to challenge the ruling.

“Do not panic. It is not yet over until it is over. Some good news is coming and we are soon heading to Canaan like I promised you,” he added.

Prepare ground

He urged his supporters not to worry about the ruling since they have already put up a water-tight case challenging the ruling.

Raila’s legal team comprising Siaya Senator James Orengo, former BBI task force joint secretary Paul Mwangi and Rarieda MP Otiende Amollo is on record revealing that they will challenge “every aspect” of the High Court ruling that declared the Constitution making process unconstitutional.

Raila hinted that his team will rely on a High Court ruling delivered by Justice Wilfrida Okwany to the effect that the resignation of some commissioners did not invalidate the composition of the commission.

“The IEBC has all along been operating on the strength of a High Court order by Justice Okwany, everything they have been doing has been on the authority of the court,” said Mwangi.

 In her ruling, Justice Okwany had ruled that the former commissioners never wrote to the appointing authority to indicate their resignation but rather did so via a press release.

IEBC, through its chairman Wafula Chebukati has also indicated that it will appeal the ruling.

The government, through Attorney General Kihara Kariuki is separately expected to file an appeal against the High Court ruling.

The ODM leader arrived at the lakeside city on Sunday morning to prepare ground for President Uhuru Kenyatta’s visit for the annual Madaraka Day celebrations set for Tuesday next week.

He first held a meeting with ODM MCAs before proceeding for an inspection tour of the Jaramogi Sports Ground that is currently under rehabilitation and the new Jomo Kenyatta International Stadium, the venue of the Madaraka Day celebrations.

He used the occasion to rally the Ward Reps to sensitise the masses about the importance of Madaraka Day.

“You should lead from the front and pass the message to the grassroots on the importance of this national event,” he told the MCAs.

Raila revealed that the President will use his visit to commission Uhuru Business Park, the Meter Gauge Railway and the dry port at Kibos area.

“This is a special visit that will open up the economy of this region and make it a regional hub. So I call upon you to take advantage of this opportunity,” he said.

More on News