OPPOSES PARLIAMENTARY APPROVAL

ODM maintains BBI proposals must be people-driven

National chairman Mbadi says Kenyans should be given a chance to propose changes to the taskforce report

In Summary

• He said public participation will give everyone an opportunity to propose changes ahead of implementation.

• The Suba South MP spoke on Friday during a funds drive at Ojijo Oteko Secondary School in Karachuonyo.

ODM national chairman John Mbadi (in red shirt) and Lake Basin Development Authority chairman Odoyo Owidi (R) at Ojijo Oteko Seconadary School in Karachuonyo on November 29, 2019
ODM national chairman John Mbadi (in red shirt) and Lake Basin Development Authority chairman Odoyo Owidi (R) at Ojijo Oteko Seconadary School in Karachuonyo on November 29, 2019
Image: ROBERT OMOLLO

ODM wants Kenyans given a chance to propose amendments to the BBI report before the final document is prepared. 

National chairman John Mbadi said it is important for the report to be scrutinised by all Kenyans through public participation. He said there could be issues that may have not pleased some Kenyans, hence the need to allow them to give their suggestions.

“Any constitutional amendment should be public-oriented. It is the people who have the right to choose how they want to be governed,” Mbadi said.

“As ODM, we want all Kenyans to own the BBI document because politicians will only go for what benefits them.”

The Suba South MP spoke on Friday during a funds drive at Ojijo Oteko Secondary School in Karachuonyo. He argued that the current discourse over how the BBI should be implemented is an indication that politicians have their personal interests.

A debate on whether the report should be presented to Parliament for approval or be subjected to a popular vote is on. Some politicians have aligned themselves with DP William Ruto and others with President Uhuru Kenyatta and former PM Raila Odinga.

Ruto’s allies prefer a parliamentary approval, while Raila and his group want a referendum. ODM has warned that the report would be manipulated should MPs be allowed to debate and approve it. 

Mbadi, also the Minority leader in the National Assembly, warned that Kenyans may fail to realise constitutional changes should the report be left to MPs. Hence, the nine-point agenda brought up by Uhuru and Raila after their handshake deal may not be implemented.

“Kenyans should remain wary of politicians... It’s hard to raise two-thirds of members in a single sitting in Parliament,” Mbadi said.  

Kenyans are expected to read the report after it was publicly unveiled last Wednesday at the Bomas of Kenya, Nairobi.

“Leaders should not walk around telling Kenyans that the report is bad. Instead, they should let everyone read it before making their own decisions on whether to support it,” Mbadi said.

He said experts will be contracted to help Kenyans make better changes in the report before it is implemented. "The BBI report touches all Kenyans so they should be the ones to decide whether to pass it."