Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga has reiterated that the Building Bridges Initiate (BBI) will bring economic revolution that would benefits youths who were the majority in the country.
Odinga said the recent census report showed that young people below the age of 35 years were 75 per cent of the population hence the need to change systems to create for them jobs.
“Since independence, we have our people living in abject poverty and the youths are affected more. We said with my brother President Uhuru Kenyatta that we want to bring change that will benefit all,” said Odinga.
The Opposition leader said that Kenyans have a right to live anywhere in this country despite their tribal backgrounds or political affiliation saying it would only be possible through the BBI.
“We have come here to here the views of the Maa people and we will check them properly to ensure they are included in the final BBI report,” said Odinga.
He reiterated the proposal of the Prime Minister and Deputy Ministers positions in the BBI were very different from the Grand Coalition government’s saying these would be properly constituted in government.
“This will be unlike the grand coalition government where we shared with former President Mwai Kibaki. The government we are now taking about is similar to Tanzanian’s and France where the center of power is only one,” he reiterated.
Odinga was speaking today at Narok Stadium during the fifth regional BBI meeting that was attended by 16 governors, eight senators, three Cabinet secretaries and tens Members of Parliament among other dignitaries.
Among the governors present included John Lonyangapuo (West Pokot), Cyprian Owiti (Homa Bay) John Nyangarama (Nyamira), Charity Ngilu (Kitui) Ann Mumbi (Kirinyaga), Alfred Mutua (Machakos), Prof Kivutha Kibwana (Makueni), James Ongwae (Kisii), Okoth Obado (Migori), Moses Lenokulal (Samburu), Samuel Tunai (Narok) and Joseph Ole Lenku (Kajiado).
At the same time, the former PM together with Sports Cabinet Secretary Ambassador Amina Mohamed officially inaugurated the renaming of William Ntimama Stadium that was formally known as Narok Stadium.
COTU Secretary General Francis Atwoli reiterated his earlier claims that nothing would stop President Uhuru Kenyatta from retaining power after the Constitution is changed.
“My instincts tell me that the referendum will be conducted before July this year. And nothing will stop President Uhuru from retaining power,” he said.
He called on the Narok MPs to help in fighting for the rights of Maa community and protecting their land warning if they did not do so the community will continue languishing in poverty.
Atwoli called on the Maa community to support the BBI saying it would help unite the country even after the elections.
“Don’t pretend there is no tribalism in Kenya. There is a great problem that if not addressed could affect the future generations,” said Atwoli.
ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi said BBI would resolve issues dealing with historical land injustices which he said has been a thorn in the fresh for a long time.
“We cannot be speaking all the time on historical land issues. We want to deal with them once and for all,” said Mudavadi.
Kirinyaga Governor Ms. Ann Mumbi said BBI would benefit the Maa community as all tribes would have a chance to lead as the executive would be expanded.
The Maa memorandum was read and presented to the former Prime minister by Kajido Governor Joseph Ole Lenku.
Among the recommendations in the memorandum are dispossession of their trust land in Laikipia, Nakuru, Kedong Ranch and Oldonyo Ng’iro in Isiolo.
“That a commission of historical land injustices and contested communal land claims be established to implement reports of task forces and land related commissions, including the Ndung’u Land Commission, Njonjo and the TJRC with a 10 to 15 year window,” reads the recommendations.
Apart from land matters, the community has resolved to back a parliamentary system of government composed of an executive prime minister and two deputies. They suggested that a minority community should be represented in the top leadership.
The Maasai leaders also are pushing for a rotational presidency between the majority and minority communities to promote equity.
Narok is the fifth county to hold the BBI forum after Kisii, Kakamega, Mombasa and Kitui counties.
By Ann Salaton