Raila says BBI will address governance issues, dispels idea of an imperial president

ODM leader Raila Odinga appending his signature during the launch. Photo/Courtesy

The BBI report is meant to address Constitutional issues, according to ODM leader Raila Odinga. The former Prime Minister, speaking at the KICC during the launch of the BBI signatures collection exercise, dispelled the notion that the report doesn’t address issues facing the common mwananchi, saying key governance issues are the highlight. “We picked issues which are essential to improve governance in Kenya,” he said, adding that issues affecting the mama mbogas, boda boda operators are legislative.

He urged Kenyans to come together and seize the moment, with a referendum beckoning, brushing aside ideas that the BBI creates an imperial President, and erodes the independence of the Judiciary and IEBC, “I’m confident that if we come together as a people nothing can stop us from achieving the Kenyan dream as coined by the founding fathers of our nation.” He pointed out that creating the post of a Prime Minister waters down the powers of the President and not the other way round. He said with the Prime Minister appointed by the President and being in Parliament, it will increase accountability.

He said Ministers sitting in the National Assembly will also make the government accountable when he is questioned and easily accessed, “Rather than inviting a Cabinet Minister to appear before a Parliamentary committee where he harasses MPs.” On concerns that appointing a Judiciary Ombudsman, Raila said the Judiciary must be independent but it must also be oversighted. He stated an Ombudsman being appointed by the President after a long credible process which includes interviewing by a panel and vetting before Parliament isn’t wrong, “How does that erode the independence of the Judiciary?” he posed. The collection of signatures now moves to all the Counties.