Raila rallies church leaders to back proposed BBI law change

Friday, January 29th, 2021 00:00 |
Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga

ODM leader Raila Odinga yesterday rallied faith-based organisations to support the proposed law review through the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).

Saying the proposed law review will “liberate Kenyans from slavery” in the same way Israelites were freed from servitude in Egypt, to remain steadfast and ensure the BBI bill sails through come the referendum.

He urged religious leaders, drawn from the Christian and Islamic faiths, to lead Kenyans out of bondage just like the biblical Moses and Joshua who endured suffering in pursuit of freedom for the Israelites.

 “I believe it is better for us to endure short term discomforts now in pursuit of a longer-lasting era of freedom, peace, stability, and prosperity for our children,” he said.

 “I am here to appeal to you to be the Moses and Joshua in the book of Exodus and help our people overcome the scary giants on the way and get us to Canaan,” he posed.

Political class

He also implored religious leaders to fight corruption by rejecting donations from corrupt leaders.

 “I believe religious leaders find no joy when members of their flock lack basics like water or food because somebody stole the money that was allocated for those items and services,” he said.

Raila also cautioned youths against being used by the political class to engage in violence every election cycle.

“I believe religious leaders find no joy in burying one member of the flock after another every five years because of election violence,” he added.

The former Prime Minister described the BBI process as the solution to the myriad challenges Kenyans are facing including the quest to devolve more resources to the counties.

“I believe religious leaders are keen to see more resources taken to the grassroots where people desperately need health facilities, schools, access roads, water and electricity,” he said.

He continued: “I believe religious leaders find no joy when some parts of the country are left at the mercy of nature because of skewed allocation of public resources,”

“I am here to appeal to you to support our quest for shared prosperity, bake a bigger national cake, protect the cake from the thieves and share it equitably,” he added.

He cited parts of northern Kenya including West Pokot and Turkana counties as areas that have been deprived of resources by successive governments and are permanently at war over inadequate resources.

He said BBI has realistic proposals on how to address real problems like youth unemployment and violence against women.

In a thinly veiled attack at Deputy President William Ruto, the ODM leader said the solution to youth unemployment cannot be wheelbarrows and handouts.

“I believe religious leaders find no joy in seeing our children go to school, graduate with university degrees only to be told there are no jobs, only wheelbarrows are available,” he said.

He explained that the answer to political tension cannot be a contest pitting the rich against the poor, the young against the old, one faith against another or even dynasty versus hustler.

He quoted the book of Luke 11: 11-12 where Jesus asks; “is there a father who will give a stone to a son asking for bread or give a snake to a son asking for fish?”

“Our children are asking us to end their poverty which is caused by corruption and lack of opportunities. They are asking us to help them stop fighting because of politics and elections,” he said.

“Our children are asking us to ensure they are not judged by their ethnic background or place of origin,” he added insisting that they want to be judged by the content of their character and the skills they possess.

He warned that the solution to corruption cannot be more corruption.

His comments come at a time when a section of the political class, Muslims leaders as a well as a section of the clergy has threatened to oppose the BBI process.

He said BBI will offer concrete solutions to Kenya’s problems but cautioned that hypocrites will always plant something.

According to Raila, the current quest to change the 2010 constitution acknowledges the supremacy of God over affairs as a nation.

“BBI has nothing against the church. The BBI Committee had four solid and battle-hardened Church leaders who have spent their entire lives standing up for what is good. They certainly could not allow any ungodly provisions into the document,” he said.

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