Hillary Mageka and Kepher Otieno
President Uhuru Kenyatta has convened another meeting with five Opposition leaders at State House, Mombasa on Wednesday.
The move comes barely days after the Court of Appeal declared illegal the push to change the Constitution through the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) in a landmark decision by a seven-judge Bench.
Last week, Uhuru met ODM leader Raila Odinga and One Kenya Alliance principals, Musalia Mudavadi (Aamani National Congress), Kalonzo Musyoka (Wiper), Moses Wetangula (Ford Kenya) and Gideon Moi (Kanu) to forge opposition unity and pick a candidate to take on Deputy President William Ruto in next year’s General Election.
However, in a joint statement on Thursday, the OKA principals denied that during their meeting with Uhuru, nothing was discussed regarding support for anyone for the top seat including Raila.
“No one asked or even suggested that we support anyone for anything,” Mudavadi stated.
Nevertheless, Wednesday’s meeting, according to sources is billed as a stock-taking gathering of BBI proponents after being punctured twice at the High court and the Appellate court.
“The president had convened a meeting tomorrow (today) of ODM leader Raila Odinga, OKA principals Kalonzo Musyoka Musalia Mudavadi, Gideon Moi and Moses Wetang’ula to take stock of the Court of Appeal verdict, but this has been rescheduled to Wednesday to allow maximum attendance,” said a source.
“This will also be a follow-up on the meeting on Tuesday last week, which largely focused on forming a formidable alliance to face off with Ruto in next year’s General Election,” the source added.
Alongside the President, Raila has been part of the Handshake-cum-BBI constitutional amendment process for more than three years.
Yesterday, the former premier was bullish saying he is not shaken or cowed by the Court of Appeal judgement on BBI.
“Let people stop belabouring on the BBI verdict and stay focused to our 2022 Azimio la Umoja movement,’’ he asserted.
Raila while addressing thousands of mourners at Magita village in Bondo during the burial of the late Dr Patrick Orege, brother to former PS Carey Orege, in Bondo, Siaya County, asked Kenyans to be patient.
Raila recalled the long and tortuous journey to changing the law saying his father, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, too, suffered.
“The lawmaking process is fraught with numerous challenges. Even the 2010 constitution passed through many hurdles,’’ he said.
Raila said they will push for changes until Kenyans reap the benefits or dividends of the BBI, ultimately.
“If I am seeing further then it is because I am standing on the shoulders of giants,’’Raila said.
This is in apparent reference to the elders he consults from time to time, diverse scholars, his supporters,the system and the President.
Raila asked the people to give him the green light to run for President and the chorus was go! go! high. Climb the Mountain.
Then he responded in the affirmative. He vowed to move on and face the DP William Ruto at the ballot next year 2022.
He vowed to continue with his Azimio la Umoja movement to further their resolve with the President to unite Kenyans.
The former premier launched the social movement slogan last week in Nakuru and Sikri in Homa Bay County, for the common good of all Kenyans.
Raila was flanked by EALA MP Oburu Oginga, Siaya Deputy Governor James Okumbe, Gem MP Elisha Odhiambo and Seme MP James Nyikal.