Odinga says there will be no new ideas that shall be introduced into BBI but only very necessary editorial work

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BY JOAN WANJIKU,NAIROBI,10TH NOV,2020-There is little likelihood that new ideas will be pushed into the BBI report, ODM party leader Raila Odinga has said.

It was reported that Raila had yielded to the growing calls by disgruntled groups and opened up the BBI report for amendments.

President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila initially announced that the window for amendments was closed despite many voices demanding changes.

But via a tweet on Tuesday, Raila said there is significantly little chance of significant new ideas being brought into the BBI document ahead of the referendum.

“…except for editorial work to make it explicit on demands by various groups where it sounds vague or general, as is the case with the issues of pastoralists,” he said on Tuesday.

“It is basically done. However, there are groups that feel their views were not captured in the manner they were presented during the collection of views and those are the corrections we are promising to make.”

However, a proposed Constitutional Amendment Bill would have to go through the laid out process including public participation and amendments.

This can be introduced in either of the Houses of Parliament. If both houses pass the Bill, the President is to assent to it if it relates to matters that do not require a referendum.

If either of the Houses of Parliament fails to pass it or there are matters relating to Article 255(1) then the Bill is subjected to a referendum.

On Monday, Raila indicated crucial steps that would culminate in the review of the BBI report to reduce antagonism and avert a referendum showdown.

The former Prime Minister revealed the BBI report would be opened up for a final round of revision to factor in reservations and objections raised by various groups to build consensus.

The ODM leader met a section of pastoralist leaders and said their issues would be addressed and considered in the final-final BBI report.

The two leaders are expected in the next few days to unveil a framework for the submission of the final views on the BBI report.

They will also name a national referendum coordinating secretariat to oversee the signature collection process, with booklets already printed.

Uhuru and Raila are keen to avoid a contested referendum that could hurt their national unity efforts and slam the brakes on their radical governance reforms ahead of the 2022 polls.

Raila’s position on the BBI report could be seen as the ultimate climbdown from his initial stance against entertaining any amendments to the ‘final’ document.

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