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BBI should champion justice, Ugenya MP says.

Ugenya Member of Parliament, David Ochieng on Friday cautioned the Building Bridges Initiative champions against muzzling the rights of citizens.

Ochieng said that BBI belongs to all Kenyans hence the need to use the ongoing debate to midwife a document that will ensure peace and unity prevails in the country.

He was speaking at Sega in his constituency during a ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of the Ugenya Social Justice Centre. The ceremony was presided over by Nakuru High Court judge, Justice Prof. Joel Ngugi and the Employment and Labour Relations Court judge, Justice Stephen Radido.

The legislator called on those spearheading the BBI debate to ensure that justice is put at the centre of the engagement.

“The process should be the one that leads to access to justice. It cannot be allowed to muzzle others’ rights,” he said.

Prof. Joel Ngugi said social justice was a model that answers aspirations of Kenyans as envisaged in the 2010 constitution.

“It is a model for attaining the 2010 constitution and provides space for rebuilding Kenya,” he said.

Addressing the occasion, the convener of the social justice centre working group, Wilfred Olal said the model was aimed at empowering local residents to solve their own problems without resorting to courts.

“We want the residents to take charge of the issues that affect their day to day lives, such as lack of water, security, land matters and many more,” he said.

Olal lamented that Kenyans have surrendered the fight for their rights to a very small group of people hence the need to have social justice centres.

On the Building Bridges Initiative, Olal said that the social justice centre working group was concerned that the document has failed to capture issues that affect the common man.

“It does not talk about the economic issues such as job losses and high poverty rates affecting Kenyans,” he said adding that the document was silent on extra judicial killings targeting young people in the slums and other informal settlements.

During the occasion that was also graced by the Ugenya Deputy County Commissioner, Pamela Otieno and the sub county police commander, Willy Simba, the locals had the opportunity to interact with judiciary officials from Ukwala, Siaya and Bondo law courts who educated them on various legal matters.

By Philip Onyango

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