NATIONALNEWS

Raila takes BBI gospel to Kisumu conference

Hillary Mageka     

ODM leader Raila Odinga is tomorrow expected to attend the fourth Annual Devolution Legislative Summit that kicked off yesterday in Kisumu.

Raila will use the opportunity to rally support for the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) agreed upon between him and President Uhuru Kenyatta on March 9 last year.

It is expected that the former Prime Minister will use the opportunity to renew his campaign for the creation of a three-tier system of governance with the introduction of regional governments.

In the sixth Annual Devolution Conference in Kirinyaga last month, the ODM leader described some of the 47 counties as uncompetitive due to population size and other related factors hence the need to form regional governments, which he maintained should be grouped into bigger entities for them to be more economically viable.

When Raila first called for the creation of a third tier of government during last year’s devolution conference in Kakamega, Deputy President William Ruto vehemently opposed it saying devolution should be entrenched in the grassroots as opposed to creating more structures at the regional level.

Taking advantage

Ruto said the formation of 14 regional governments would not achieve the ideals of devolution key among them taking service delivery closer to citizens.

Nevertheless, Raila is likely to use the podium to rally support for President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big Four agenda and renewed war on corruption.

However, the BBI is under attack from a section of Jubilee-allied politicians, who have accused the former premier of using it to cause discontent in the party.

In particular, Ruto has recently been raising issues on corruption as one way of sabotaging, demeaning and stalling development projects by Jubilee.

Ruto’s allies have been on record accusing Raila of taking advantage of the Handshake aftermath to scuttle Ruto’s presidential ambition.

Other leaders expected at the forum are ODM deputy party leader and Council of Governors chairman Wycliffe Oparanya, Nasa co-principal and Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula and Kisumu Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o.

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