Uhuru, Raila make case for changes to the Constitution

Thursday, October 22nd, 2020 00:00 |
President Uhuru Kenyatta receives the BBI report from the taskforce vice chair Adams Oloo at Kisii State Lodge, yesterday. Looking on is former PM Raila Odinga. Photo/PD/Gerald Ithana

Hillary Mageka @hillarymageka

President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga yesterday termed as propaganda claims the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report is about creating political seats for individuals. 

Telling off their critics, the duo said the BBI report is not targeting any individual, community or erecting stumbling blocks to anyone’s political ambition.

Deputy President William Ruto and his allies have been on an overdrive, opposing the report on grounds that it is intended to create positions for a few people at the expense of the poor Kenyans.

But in what seemed like a response to the DP, the President, said the BBI document is for all the 50 million Kenyans.

“I’m encouraging each one of us to read and make your contribution with a view to making it even better,” the President said after officially receiving the report at the Kisii State Lodge.


The Head of State noted that the country through the BBI report has an opportunity to correct some historical and electoral injustices.

“I want to plead especially with my political colleagues, this is not the time to create divisions.

This is the time for every one of us to show leadership. This is the time to bring our country together,” the President noted.

During the Mashujaa Day celebrations the President told off his deputy for suggesting the changes are self-seeking.

“And on this, we should not give my suggestion the parochial interpretation of creating positions for individuals.

I am only urging for a constitutional consensus that accommodates all communities,” he said.

Yesterday, he said a national dialogue as demanded by Ruto will not be conducted through insults, incitement, or shouting at each other but through reading, learning, and understanding. 

The President said the BBI report, will address the winner-take-all mentality so that every single Kenyan feels comfortable and contented that they have a Constitution that protects them.

“If we can deal with that problem, we will deal with the problem of political conflict and bloodshed. I believe that is what we are seeking from this BBI,” he said.

The President, however, asked the BBI team to publish the report in all local dailies so that mwananchi can acquaint themselves with the contents of the report.

When he took to the stand, Raila hailed the report as one that will birth a new Kenya.

He said the BBI report is not about making him president or making Uhuru a Prime Minister. 

In an apparent reference to the DP and his allies, the ODM leader said ‘some people’ had been speculating about the contents of the BBI report and even opposing it yet they had not read it.

According to Raila, following lengthy deliberations between himself and President Kenyatta, they identified problems that have been ailing the country.

“We decided that we should take steps towards solving these problems not just for ourselves but with interests of this generation and the next,” he said.

 “We asked ourselves why we have a new constitution…that time it was eight years old…yet there are still problems” he added.

Kenyans, Raila said, are ‘angry because they are hungry’, which is why they identified nine issues plaguing the country and tasked the BBI team with the responsibility of trying to find solutions.

While elaborating on the amendment of the supreme law, the ODM leader said they were going to collect signatures and take them to the electoral commission before submitting them to the county assemblies and later subjecting  the document to a referendum.

Tom Macharia, one of the BBI taskforce experts, said it is not a final destination, but something Kenyans will continue engaging with.

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