Raila Odinga: My bid to change law unstoppable
Opposition leader Raila Odinga has vowed to continue with his push for constitutional review despite resistance from his newfound ally President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Mr Odinga said no one will stop his bid to change the Constitution, insisting the goal is to form an all-inclusive Kenya.
But on Friday during Madaraka Day celebrations at Kinoru Stadium in Meru County, President Kenyatta reiterated his opposition to Mr Odinga’s call, saying a change of the law will not deliver the Kenyan dream.
The two leaders are enjoying newfound camaraderie following their historic handshake in March this year that seems to have changed the political landscape, with leaders across the political divide calling for unity for the sake of development.
Before their handshake the country was teetering on the edge of political brinksmanship following a bruising General Election that saw the August 8, 2017 presidential election results nullified and another poll held on October 26 that Mr Odinga refused to participate in.
Things came to a head-on in January after Mr Odinga held a mock swearing-in in the heart of the capital city. But now that is all in the past, except that one of the architects of the mock swearing-in, Mr Miguna Miguna, has been twice deported to Canada.
Now, Mr Odinga said he is waiting for advice on his referendum call from the Building Bridges team that was constituted after the handshake.
“You saw the team was gazetted and has started working. It is the committee which will bring forward recommendations that we will implement. If the team says we need to amend the Constitution, we will do so and no one will stop us,” said Mr Odinga.
The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader said the need to have referendum is to allow the formation of a nation that will end the vices that have been dragging the country down since its independence.
“We want to form a nation that will include everyone. A Kenya that will allow anyone to contest for the top seat and be elected. We want a situation where even a person from El Molo can get an equal chance of contesting for the seat and be elected,” he said.
Mr Odinga spoke during an Iftar (Ramadhan dinner) organised by ODM Deputy Party Leader Hassan Joho at Serani grounds in Mombasa.
Mr Odinga dismissed leaders who want to ride on the pact for their 2022 bids, saying the deal focuses on changing Kenyans lives 50 years from now.
“We got into the deal focusing on 50 years from now and not 2022. We made the pact knowing where we are and where we are heading to, and I am here to seek your support of the unity so that we can move this country forward,” he said.
Mr Odinga said the public will be invited to discuss the recommendations of the 14-member unity team once their report is published, starting in Mombasa County.
“We will tell Kenyans openly that which we want to put forward for the betterment of this country and that is when we will involve you and help us in ensuring that we take this country where our fathers wanted it to be,” he said.
Mr Odinga said the fight on corruption is part of the unity deal with President Kenyatta.
“Whether they like it or not we will reach our destination and attain that what we are focused into. We know that good things do not come easily.
The opposition politician said it was only through their pact that the country can prosper.
He was accompanied by his brother Oburu Oginga (East AfricaN Legislative Assembly MP), Wajir Governor Mohammed Abid, Senators Mohammed Faki (Mombasa), Issa Boy (Kwale) MPs Junet Mohammed (Suna East), Abdulswamad Nassir (Mvita), Omar Mwinyi (Changamwe), Ahmed Kolosh (Wajir West), Mohammed Hire (Garane).
Also present were Mombasa County Speaker Aharub Khatri, Mishi Mboko (Likoni), Woman Reps Asha Hussein (Mombasa), Getrude Mbeyu (Kilifi), Benjamin Tayari (Kinango) among others.
By MOHAMED AHMED