Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga has dismissed claims that he is pushing for the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) to further his political interests in the 2022 race to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Speaking in Kisii during the funeral service for former Bonchari MP Oroo Oiyoka on Friday, the ODM leader reiterated that his handshake with President Uhuru Kenyatta that gave birth to BBI was meant to address a myriad of challenges facing the country.
Raila said it’s only Kenyans who have the power to make one president and when the time comes, they will decide who will take over from President Kenyatta, whose second and final term in office ends in 2022.
“Hii BBI si mlango ambao Raila anatumia kama mlango wa nyuma ati aingie State House, hapana. Raila akitaka kwenda State House wananchi watampeleka yeye. Hii ni kitu itadumu na itasaidia kizazi hiki na vizazi vingine ambavyo vinakuja katika taifa letu, ” said Raila.
Loosely translated, “BBI is not a back door that Raila wants to use to get to State House. If Raila wants to go to State House it’s only Kenyans who can take him there. BBI is here to stay, it will help not just this generation but many to come.”
Deputy President William Ruto, who is also eyeing the top seat in 2022, is on record claiming that some leaders want to use BBI to get to the house on the hill through the back door.
Raila made the remarks ahead of countrywide campaigns to popularise the BBI Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, 2020, that was recently passed by County Assemblies.
The campaigns, according to the BBI Secretariat, are scheduled to kick off from next week with President Kenyatta expected to take a leading role in popularising his pet project.
The BBI Bill proposes among others, the increasing of county allocation from the current 15 per cent to 35 and the creation of 70 more constituencies across the country. It also introduces the position of the prime minister and two deputy prime minister positions.
The Bill is expected to be tabled in Parliament for debate and if passed, it will be subjected to a referendum in June this year.