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Nyanza leaders slam Catholic bishops over BBI stand
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|Nyanza leaders slam Catholic bishops over BBI stand by Kenyans247(1): Sat 14, November, 2020 09:20am|
What you need to know:
Nyanza political leaders have maintained that BBI document is good as it is.
The leaders said the report would solve many problems affecting Kenyans, especially those related to elections and politics.
A section of leaders from Nyanza region have faulted the Catholic Church for rejecting key proposals in the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report.
The leaders said threats by the Catholic bishops to rally the church to reject the report if further dialogue on the document is not conducted amounted to hypocrisy.
Kenya Conference of Catholic bishops Chairman Archbishop Phillip Anyolo, in a statement on Thursday, said the report is good but that there should be room for dialogue on the document's contents.
The Catholic bishops said proposals contained in the report for expansion of the executive and the legislature would overburden the tax payers with an increased wage bill.
But politicians from Nyanza, who are crusading for the passage of the report, have maintained that the document is good as it is. They have also accused the Catholic Church of passing an unfair judgment on the BBI report.
Led by Homa Bay Senator, Moses Kajwang’, Radieda MP Otiende Amollo, Kasipul MP Ongondo Were, Lake Basin Development Authority (LBDA) Chairman Odoyo Owidi and Siaya county executive for Roads Jaoko Oburu, the leaders said the report would solve many problems affecting Kenyans, especially those related to elections and politics.
They spoke on Friday during the burial of Homa Bay County Luo Council of Elders Chairman the late Odak Mbaka in Kasipul constituency.
Mr Amolo said BBI aims at expanding the executive.
“I'm disappointed by my church which says BBI will introduce an imperial president. In logic, the presidential powers in the current constitution are exercised by the president alone, making him an imperial leader,” Amolo said.
Homa Bay Senator Moses Kajwang (left) Kasipul MP Ongondo Were (second left) wife to ODM leader Raila Odinga, Odinga Ida (in yellow dress) and Rarieda MP Otiende Amolo join members of the Kikuyu Council of Elders during the burial of Homa Bay County Luo Council of Elders Chairman the late Odak Mbaka in West Kasipul Ward in Kasipul constituency in Homa Bay County on November 13, 2020.
George Odiwuor | Nation Media Group
According to the Catholic Church, BBI will give more powers to the president, something the church says will not cure the winner-takes-it-all problem.
Mr Amolo however said having a President, a Deputy President, a Prime Minister and his deputies would ensure power is distributed across all top office holders.
“Elimination of positions of Chief Administrative Secretaries and appointing Cabinet Ministers from Parliament will reduce Kenya’s wage bill," he said.
Mr Kajwang, on his part, dared those who are opposed to the BBI report to start their own initiative for constitutional reforms and rally Kenyans to support it.
He said the BBI taskforce had two years to consolidate the views of Kenyan and there is limited time for constitutional amendments.
“We have a constitutional amendment bill which should be implemented. The door is not shut for constitutional reform from other players like Ekuru Aukot’s third Way Alliance did,” Mr Kajwang’ said.
Mr Were appealed to Kenyans to ignore political leaders who are opposed the BBI report.
Mr Owidi argued that opponents of the document are only promoting their selfish interests.
“Anybody who wants economic development in Kenya should support the report. It provides a lot of opportunities, especially for the youth," he said.
The burial was also attended by Mama Ida Odinga and members of the Kikuyu Council of Elders who chose to steer clear of the BBI debate.
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