ODM leader Raila Odinga has reaffirmed that calls for a constitutional review contained in the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report have not been shattered by the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.
Raila said despite the disease slamming brakes on political rallies, the urge for a constitutional review continued to burn inside him and as such, the BBI rallies will resume immediately the virus was tackled.
The ODM leader made the remarks on Saturday, May 16, when he attended burial of Tecra Muigai, daughter of founders of Keroche Breweries Joseph and Tabitha Karanja.
“This is a time for us to rise and work together as a people. This resonates very well with the message of building bridges that we have been conveying with President Uhuru Kenyatta and we are sure that this will succeed. After the corona crisis, we will converge again. Reggae is on halftime. After coronavirus, reggae will continue. Nobody can stop it,” said Raila.
The former premier, who has been at the helm of the referendum push, hinted that the President was likely to form an expert team that will fast track revival of the economy that has been badly battered by the pandemic.
“We will need to come up with a post corona strategy of survival and chat on ways on how we will revive our country. This is a crisis but we also understand it offers an opportunity,” he added.
The statements by the African Union infrastructure envoy came at a time when there still exist rifts between the country’s top leadership on whether or not a referendum could solve Kenya’s electoral problems.
Section of leaders allied to Deputy President William Ruto had termed calls for the BBI referendum as a misplaced priority that would result in a waste of resources.
However, President Uhuru and his supporters who back the bill are emphatic that if implemented, will end the electoral system of winner takes it all which has the potential of sparking animosity among citizens.
Ndaragwa MP Jeremiah Kioni, has proposed a bill that if given nod by Parliament, will see the BBI referendum held alongside the 2022 General Election.
The motion will be tabled when MP’s resume their sittings om June 2. Kioni chairs the National Assembly Constitutional Implementation and Oversight Committee (NACIO).
Senate Minority Leader James Orengo and Central Organisation of Trade Unions (COTU) Secretary General Francis Atwoli are among BBI proponents who were pushing for a plebiscite to be held before July 2020.