Just a day after ODM Chairman John Mbadi issued a strongly worded statement which, though without outright threats, appeared to contain undercurrents of ultimatums, the intended final aim seems to have been achieved a day later.
Yesterday’s sessions in both the Senate and the National Assembly ended up being an anticlimax as renegade ODM members backed down.
The day had been expected to be action packed, with a major showdown expected. This is after a section of ODM legislators had adopted the unusual position of supporting amendments to the Constitutional Amendment Bill 2020, something that would have thrown the entire process into disarray.
However, yesterday, Siaya Senator James Orengo, who has been presumed to be the defacto leader of the renegade group, changed his position regarding the Bill.
Earlier, having taken issue with the lack of clear reference to the schedule in question by the Bill, Orengo had also held the view that allocation of constituencies by the Bill was usurping the role of IEBC, and this needed to be corrected.
But in his submission yesterday, he said that having taken another look at the contentious section, he had come to the conclusion that any amendments to the Bill would in essence tamper with a bigger portion of the Constitution, resulting in unintended consequences.
Nevertheless, he prefaced his final remarks with a very telling overview of the new constituencies, and their allocation.
Appearing to give voice to the ongoing murmurs that Nyanza had been shortchanged, Orengo said that he was supporting the document as is, but was conscious of some concerns from Nyatike, Karachuonyo, Homa Bay, Siaya, Busia and Kakamega county which was getting only two new constituencies, while other regions were getting five.
It is worth noting that during Raila’s last visit to Busia, he promised the county that he would make sure they got additional constituencies in the final BBI draft.