Raila Odinga’s legal team has found itself at a crossroad on whether to reopen the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report or not.
Kivumbi.co.ke recently reported that the popular document to amend the Kenyan Constitution 2010 was riddled by mistakes which have now led to a division in Raila’s legal team.
According to the joint Justice and Legal Committee (JLAC) of the National Assembly and Senate, out of the 43 county assemblies that unanimously passed the Bill, only 13 received and debated on the correct document.
It has now emerged that while Raila’s legal adviser Paul Mwangi is against reopening the document for editing while Siaya senator James Orengo and Rarieda Member of Parliament Otiende Amolo want the document opened and mistakes corrected.
Mwangi argues that reopening the document for typographical mistakes to be made might deal the final blow to the referendum journey as the document will become illegal since it will be a product of the National Assembly.
“If they amend the report, it will be a different document from the one passed by county assemblies. There will be confusion on which of the two should go to the referendum,” Mwangi told the Sunday Nation.
Mwangi further said that if parliament will reopen the report, it will be mandatory for the document to be sent back to the county assemblies for debate.
“County assemblies will demand to know where parliament got the powers to edit the document,” he added.
However, Siaya Senator James Orengo and Rarieda MP Otiende Amolo are pushing for the reopening of the document saying the move will have no effect since the purpose of the law is not to reduce powers of the National Assembly.
“Let us not allow vanity to prevail in this issue. The precedence of parliaments role was established by the committee of experts which drafted the Constitution,” Orengo argued.
However, JLAC said that the errors in the Bill that was debated in more than 30 county assemblies are minor and does not affect the substance of the document.
The county assembly’s leadership caucus has echoed James Orengo’s sentiment saying that some politicians are hiding under minor errors in the BBI document which can be corrected.
“If indeed it is true that some county assemblies debated any Bill that may have had typographical errors, they can be corrected either by the Parliament or the Attorney General’s office,” said the Caucus Chair and Leader of Majority, Meru County Victor Mutuma.