Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga has criticized those who opposed the Building Bridges Initiative, saying that the proposed constitutional changes could have been beneficial to the country.
Raila was speaking after attending the funeral of Grace Muthoni, a sister to George Gichini, a former aspirant for the Limuru Parliamentary seat in 2017.
The former premier insisted that the amendments proposed by the BBI would have brought more resources to the grass-root level.
“Kiambu would have been allocated six more constituencies if BBI had been passed,” Odinga said as he addressed the crowd that had gathered. “That is Sh. 100 million extra per constituency in CDF funds,” he explained.
Regretting the court’s decision to stop the progress of the much anticipated initiative, Odinga also argued that BBI would have ensured that Counties receive higher allocations to fund their activities.
Moreover, allocation would be done in an equitable manner to ensure that each devolved unit gets a fair share of the national cake.
The former Premier, who has is also a major contender in the upcoming 2022 Presidential elections also took the opportunity to woo voters. “I urge you to walk with me on this journey,” he implored.
Other leaders from Kiambu who had accompanied Raila Odinga declared to back his presidential bid and vowed to marshal support from the vote rich region.
Kiambu Governor James Nyoro asked the people of Kiambu to support the former Prime Minister, saying that he has a soft spot for the region.
“Raila attended the birthday of someone who he didn’t know and gave them a cow. Today he is here to be with his friend who is laying their sister to rest, he is always with us,” he said.
His sentiments were echoed by former parliamentary aspirant Gichini Limuru Member of Parliament Peter Mwathi and Youth and Gender Chief Administrative Secretary Rachel Shebesh who asked the people of Kiambu to support his stab at the big seat.
Odinga, who African Union’s Ambassador on Infrastructure preached unity, rallying Kenyans to come together through the clarion call ‘Azimio la umoja’.
He asked people to stay together as a country without discrimination. “We should be united as a country, our tribes should not matter,” he averred.
The former 2017 Presidential candidate said that with unity, Kenyans would have the opportunity to live and invest in different parts of the country without having to worry about their tribal orientations.
“You should be able to live and invest and live in any part of this country, you should not be afraid,” Odinga said.
He went on to list his agendas, giving priority to health education, Odinga emphasized on the need for equal access to these services to the Kenyan population. “Everyone, rich or poor should have access to better health care” he said.
Shining a spotlight on the health sector, he lamented over the high cost of medical care in the country currently.
“You have heard of the many harambees held to offset medical bills…We need to have a system that caters to people of every class,” he added.
The former Prime Minister also supported the decree by Anglican Church of Kenya Bishop Jackson Ole Sapit to bar politicians from the pulpit.
“I am in support of the decision made by the church… let’s keep politics out of our places of worship” Raila said, speaking at the funeral of Grace Muthoni.