Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga has cautioned the church against double speak on the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) bill.
Odinga said politicians opposed to the proposed amendments to the 2020 constitution were using the church to spread falsehood about the BBI bill to advance their selfish interests.
The politicians, he added, were using the church to launder money stolen from public coffers to advance their cause.
“They are now moving from one church to another asking when they can be invited to conduct harambe so that they give you conditions,” he said.
Speaking at St. Stephens ACK Church in Kisumu on Sunday Raila asked the church to shun corrupt politicians spreading propaganda and falsehoods about the BBI.
“Corruption is a big challenge in this country. People have stolen money meant for development and that is why the government is unable to offer services. Therefore the church must take the lead and desist from being used to launder stolen public money,” he said.
Referring to remarks made by Christ Is The Answer Ministries (CITAM) outgoing Presiding Bishop Oginde who said the quick succession of events around the BBI had left the church behind, Raila said some church leaders were being untrue about the BBI process.
“This process has taken two years and the steering committee received views from Kenyans and even the church. Where were they when this was taking place?” he asked.
He reiterated that proper consultations were made before the bill was published asking those who are opposed to the document to stop confusing Kenyans but exercise their democratic right by voting “no” during the referendum.
The constitution, he said, was not cast on stone adding that after these amendments are passed, there was still room to review it further.
“It is not possible to have all the views incorporated at once. This is just the first amendment, a second one will come and even a third one,” he said.
The notion that BBI had created slots for women to be nominated to the Senate and National Assembly, he said, was unfounded adding that women shall be on the ballot.
“Women are not going to be nominated, they’re going to be elected. We are going to use a vote aggregation method which is another system of voting to avoid having another ballot because we already have six ballots,” he said.
His sentiments were echoed by Kisumu Woman Representative Rosa Buyu who said the position of woman representative has not been scrapped but moved to the Senate to ensure that they participate effectively on county affairs.
The 2010 Constitution, she said was not clear about the position of women representatives that is why they ended up in the National Assembly.
This, she added, had made it difficult for them to address matters that are at the heart of women in the devolved units.
“By sitting in the Senate, women will be able to put county governments to task on resources devolved to spearhead various sectors including health and agriculture which are at the heart of women,” she said.
Raila was also accompanied by Kisumu Central MP Fred Ouda, Seme MP Dr. James Nyikal, Kisumu Speaker Elisha Oraro and Kisumu Deputy Governor Dr. Mathew Owili.
By Chris Mahandara