ODM Raila Odinga has shared the tense moments that preceded the March 9, 2018 handshake. “It took 19 hours and the conversation was not easy,” Raila told Kenyans who had converged at the Bomas of Kenya as leaders made public the Building Bridges Initiative Report. The ODM leader recalled the aftermath of the 2017 election that created yet another divided nation.
“You (Uhuru Kenyatta) ended up as the president and I, the people’s president,” said Raila. “In 2017, we were invited here by the electoral commission and we engaged them in an argument that we had come here to be announced as the winner. But that did not take place… we found ourselves in the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court made its pronouncement.” he said. The top court annulled the presidential election and ordered a second one that was slated for 0ctober 26, but Raila’s party did not participate. “You (Jubilee team) ended up in Kasarani and we (NASA) ended up in Uhuru Park,” he added alluding to his unilateral swearing-in ceremony as the “peoples ‘president”.
He said people close to the president advised that he (Raila) should be arrested charged with treason but the president had other ideas. “The president had an issue with my arrest. It is under those circumstances that counsels of good will prevailed and we ended up, me and the President, having a conversation,” he said as the crowd cheered.
The “difficult conversation,” however, gave birth to the BBI, after their views in the presence of lawyers were put together. The duo, Raila says was on a mission to find out what is ailing Kenya and what needs to be corrected. “The BBI Report is not about me or Uhuru, it is a change for Kenya… the report has highlighted on how corruption will be dealt with,” he said. In the report, corruption is to be dealt with through structural and preventive means. “The growing public perception of Kenya having a rigged system that rewards cronyism and corruption is the greatest risk to Kenya’s cohesion and security. Tackling corruption is the single most important mission Kenya has now. The Taskforce makes major and actionable recommendations, a few that are captured below,” reads part of the BBI report.
It calls for the reversal of the Jomo Kenyatta-era Ndegwa Commission that okayed civil servants to do business. The report wants all public officers banned from doing business with the government.
Via The Standard