In Summary
  • Report is now expected to be subjected to public participation in the next 60 days as the committee tasked with its implementation works towards a final document.
  • Odinga says the process is meant to ensure a sane political, economic and development environment for the country.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga says he does not intend to use the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) to clear his way to power in 2022, but rather to promote a Kenyan identity, even as he hints t a referendum on the recently launched report.

Mr Odinga, who enjoys cordial relations with President Uhuru Kenyatta, says some of the clauses in the report would require amendment of parts of the Constitution.

“We need to understand that power is vested in the people. What Parliament can change can also be done directly by a majority of the people. In the BBI report, there are proposals altering the structure of the Constitution and once a consensus has been reached on the proposals, then it will require a referendum,” Mr Odinga said.

In his first interview following the launch of the BBI report, Mr Odinga told the Nation on the sidelines of the Kusi Ideas Festival in Kigali, Rwanda, that he and President Uhuru Kenyatta are determined to create one nation out of the more than 40 tribes, and not to seek power through the initiative, as has been claimed by some politicians.

PUBLIC DEBATE

Mr Odinga, however, admitted that the report had created anxiety both in the political circles and in the economy, but said he and Mr Kenyatta were keen to see the handshake initiative succeeds for the country’s good.

“We can see anxiety on BBI and what it contains, with some individuals now trying to tie their 2022 election ambitions to this process. That is not what we want.

I also need to be clear, the BBI is not intended to propel myself or President Kenyatta to power in 2022,” Mr Odinga said, adding that the process is meant for posterity to ensure a sane political, economic and development environment for the country.

“We are not power-hungry and are not trying to support one another’s political ambitions and vision in 2022. This initiative isn’t made for that. We didn’t have any talks on 2022 when we started this. It is for the betterment of Kenya’s future,” Mr Odinga said.

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