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Tuesday, April 27, 2021 – Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s allies are sharply divided on how to proceed with the BBI Bill.

This emerged just a day after the joint parliamentary team submitted their reports to the speakers of the National Assembly and the Senate.

While some MPs are pushing for an amendment to the Kenya Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2020, another faction is demanding that the document be taken to the referendum in the form it was submitted to the IEBC.

Siaya Senator James Orengo and MPs Otiende Amollo (Rarieda) and TJ Kajwang’ – all members of the joint Justice and Legal Affairs Committee that was considering the Bill – have been pushing for amendments, arguing that Parliament cannot play a ‘flower girl’ role in the crucial law changing process.

The division escalated yesterday after 11 MPs from Luo Nyanza came out to contradict the position earlier taken by the Orengo team, demanding that not even a comma can be added or removed from the Bill.

Led by Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi, the ODM MPs expressed opposition to any alteration of the Bill, including correction of the alleged typographical errors identified by the joint committee.

Wandayi, who is also ODM’s director of political affairs, described attempts to correct the minor errors as a ploy to derail and scuttle the referendum process.

“The latest effort to derail the handshake and the BBI is the contest over the contents of the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill as proposed by the BBI,”

“It is in this context that we have convened here as elected leaders of the Luo community to express singular and undivided support for the BBI Bill as endorsed by the people of Kenya and the majority of county assemblies.”

“We reject any attempt to alter that Bill whether the alteration is for grammar, the flow of sentences, the wording of law or semantics,” Wandayi said.

Surprisingly, the Orengo team gave the Serena press conference a wide berth, confirming the simmering disquiet in the Raila camp.


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