Kenya: Odinga Appeals to Churches to Support Handshake and BBI

President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga (file photo).
29 January 2021

Nairobi — Orange Democratic Movement party leader Raila Odinga has urged religious leaders to support the handshake and the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report "for a better Kenya."

Odinga held a town hall meeting with religious leaders in Nairobi's Ufungamano House on Thursday when he appealed to them to support the initiative he is championing with president Uhuru Kenyatta.

"I called you here to appeal to you to support our initiative with President Uhuru Kenyatta, I appeal to you to be the Moses and Joshua of the Exodus and help our people get to Canaan," he said.

Odinga said BBI is the only way to weed out corruption, adding that it will ensure that more resources are devolved to the counties.

He said it wasn't fair for some regions to remain marginalized, saying issues of equity are well captured in the report.

"I believe religious leaders find no joy when members of their flock lack basics because somebody stole money allocated for those services, I appeal to you to support the BBI so as to ensure corruption ceases to be the way of life in Kenya," he said.

Some of the church leaders who spoke opposed the proposal to regulate the church, also opposing the reproduction Bill that allows abortion saying if such matters are addressed the church will support the report.

The BBI report was sent to county assemblies last week by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission which gave them up to end of April to finalise on debate and file their report.

It will then be sent to Parliament as part of preparations for a national referendum due in June ahead of the 2022 General Election.

Odinga and President Kenyatta have intensified campaigns for the BBI report even as Deputy President William Ruto remains defiant holding parallel meetings to thrash it.

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