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Raila meets with Orengo ahead of BBI Senate vote

Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) Party Leader Raila Odinga on Monday, May 10, 2021 held a meeting with Siaya Senator James Orengo ahead of the Senate vote on the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) Bill.

The meeting was hosted by the Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and was also attended by Rarieda Member of Parliament Otiende Amollo, Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya and Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu.

The statements released after the meeting, however, did not indicate the agenda – all terming it as a “lunch”. 

“I had a great chat this morning with Governor Charity Ngilu, Oparanya, and together with Senator James Orengo whom I hosted for brunch. Thanks for dropping by,” Raila stated.

Orengo also took to social media and posted a message revealing that that they had a meeting.

“Very refreshing to catch up with my Party Leader Hon Raila Odinga, Governor Wycliffe Oparanya 
 Charity Ngilu,” Orengo stated.

Their meeting came amid reports of a looming fallout between the two leaders over the BBI process.

Orengo had in the recent past indicated resistance to the BBI Constitutional Amendment Bill arguing that it fails the test of geographical representation in the distribution of 70 new constituencies. 

National Assembly Minority Whip Junet Mohammed has termed Orengo as a traitor for trying to disown a bill that he co-authored.

“Orengo co-chaired the committee that produced the final BBI. He cannot turn around now to say that that we didn’t agree on this or that.”

“He cannot run away from his baby. He is essentially trying to disown a document he himself, by the virtue of being a co-captain, authored. It is the height of political dishonesty,” Junet stated.

The former Prime Minister, however, issued a statement clarifying that the party had no plans to replace Orengo as the Leader of Minority in the Senate.

“We wish to clarify that Rt. Hon Raila Odinga, the ODM Party Leader and the Orange Democratic Movement have no plans to replace Senator James Orengo as the Leader of Minority in the Senate,” reads the statement.

The National Assembly had passed the BBI on Thursday, May 6 after 235 MPs voted yes while 83 voted no and two abstained.

The Senate will vote on the bill on Tuesday, May 11, to determine the fate of the proposed constitutional changes. It requires a simple majority in order to proceed to a referendum where voters will have the final say. 

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    Written by Kennedy Omondi

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