ODM MPs express confidence both Houses will pass amendment Bill 2020

They dispelled fears that leaders from Siaya have divergent opinions on BBI.

In Summary

• Orengo has told ODM supporters that the constitutional review process will act as a bridge to have the ODM party leader Raila Odinga becomes the next president.

• The leaders also criticised the Friday evening chaos at Nyangaga Primary School in Alego-Usonga constituency.

Siaya Senator James Orengo (middle) with MP Otiende Amolo (in white shirt) and Siaya County Deputy Governor James Okumbe at the burial of Mama Kezia Obama on Saturday at Kogelo village in Siaya County.
Siaya Senator James Orengo (middle) with MP Otiende Amolo (in white shirt) and Siaya County Deputy Governor James Okumbe at the burial of Mama Kezia Obama on Saturday at Kogelo village in Siaya County.
Image: DICKENS WASONGA

A number of ODM leaders expressed confidence on Saturday that the Senate and the National Assembly will pass the amendment Bill 2020, which is sponsored by the Building Bridges Initiative.

Led by Siaya Senator James Orengo, the leaders said immediately after the approval of the Bill by the two Houses, ODM will embark on aggressive campaigns countrywide to have the same endorsed by Kenyans during the referendum which they said will be conducted in July this year.

Addressing the mourners during the burial of Kezia Obama in Kogelo village, Siaya County, Orengo asked Kenyans to get ready to pass the initiative when the plebiscite is held in two months’ time.

He said that the ODM party was optimistic that the National Assembly and the Senate will endorse the BBI bill this week to pave way for the planned referendum.

"Whenever elders sit to discuss an issue, nothing ever goes wrong. We are sure that the senate and national assembly will pass the Bill this week so that preparations for the referendum can begin in earnest," Orengo said.

At the same time, the senator told ODM supporters that the constitutional review process will act as a bridge to have the ODM party leader Raila Odinga becomes the next president.

Other leaders who attended the burial included Otiende Amolo (Rarieda) and Deputy Governor James Okumbe in renewing their commitment and unwavering support for the BBI process.

The family of Mama Kezia Obama led by her son Malik Obama during her burial at Kogelo village home in Siaya County on Saturday.
The family of Mama Kezia Obama led by her son Malik Obama during her burial at Kogelo village home in Siaya County on Saturday.
Image: DICKENS WASONGA

This comes amidst claims that a section of ODM party leaders was being used to frustrate the passage of the BBI bill in both the senate and the national assembly.

Otiende, who was the first to speak during the burial said that they are committed to ensuring the BBI initiative which is a process of the handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and the ODM leader is not derailed.

He said some forces had been hell bent in scuttling the process.

"We will continue to fight to ensure BBI process is a success. It is a product of the handshake that we all support," Otiende said.

He continued that "We want to make sure that the BBI bill sails through both in the Senate and National Assembly before we launch the match to the State House.”

The MP said ODM legislators were prepared to do whatever it takes to mobilise support for the adoption of the bill.

"We want to ensure the document leaves the two houses a better and a more acceptable document which will be ready for a referendum," he said.

Otiende said the party's quest to conclude the journey to the promised land ‘Cannan’ is still alive.

"The ultimate goal of this journey is to have Raila Odinga sworn in as the president," he said.

The leaders at the same time dispelled fears that leaders from the county have divergent opinions on the BBI.

"Our resolve to support BBI is not debatable and you should not listen to detractors claiming we have different positions in regards to the BBI issue," said Otiende.

They said the party's next agenda after parliament approves the bill will be to hit the road to campaign for its adoption at the referendum.

"We anticipate that the two houses will pass the document this week so that we focus on the next big assignment," Otiende said.

Deputy Governor Okumbe said the county was the first to pass the BBI bill and it is the hope that the bill will be approved immediately so that it can be taken to referendum.

Okumbe said the ambition of the region is to have Raila crowned as president.

“We want the issue of the reforms dispensed quickly so that we embark on the quest to have Raila pushed to State House," he said.

The leaders also criticised the Friday evening chaos at Nyangaga Primary School in the Alego-Usonga constituency.

On Friday, MPs Samuel Atandi (Alego-Usonga), Otiende Amolo, Aduma Owuor(Nyakach), and Orengo were forced to flee after the supporters of an aspirant and Atandi's clashed.

Atandi told the Star that he has reported the incident to the DCI offices in Siaya.

On Saturday, while addressing journalists, Atandi said that his bodyguards and those of his three colleagues had recorded their statements with DC detectives over the matter.

Kezia Obama, the stepmother to ex-US President Barack Obama was buried at her rural home in Siaya County on Saturday.

The brief ceremony conducted in Islamic rites was witnessed by close family members and elected leaders from Siaya county and a few residents in line with Covid-19 protocols.

Keziah died at a London hospital on Tuesday, April 13, aged 81.

Her body was repatriated from the UK on Friday for an overnight stay at her rural home