Nyanza leaders meet on Friday to take common stand on BBI
- Six governors will spearhead a conference in Kisii where issues to do with agriculture, the blue economy and the governance system will be debated and resolutions made to the BBI secretariat.
- He said that the delegates will have an opportunity to discuss and comprehend recommendations in the report.
- Nyamira’s Nyagarama and Dr Okumbe said that having a regional stand will help push for the people’s best interests.
ODM leader Raila Odinga’s backyard Nyanza region will take a common stand on the Building Bridges Initiative recommendations next Friday.
In a bid to speak in one voice as the Lake Region, the six governors will spearhead a conference in Kisii where issues to do with agriculture, the blue economy and the governance system will be debated and resolutions made to the BBI secretariat.
Also to be made clear by various opinion leaders from the region is the type of parliamentary system they feel should be adopted and whether the proposed Prime Minister’s position will be an executive one or a hybrid.
The announcement will be made at the conference which will bring together 3,000 delegates from Kisumu, Migori, Homa Bay, Siaya, Nyamira and Kisii counties.
The discussions will culminate in a big rally at Kisii Stadium where resolutions will be unveiled to the public.
“It is instructive to note that as a region we share the same aspirations and have always walked the same path. It is on this basis that elected leaders together with other stakeholders commit to champion the BBI report,” said Kisii Governor James Ongwae, the chairman of the caucus.
Mr Ongwae was speaking at a Kisumu Hotel and was flanked by his counterparts Mr John Nyagarama (Nyamira), Prof Anyang’ Nyong’o (Kisumu), Mr Cyprian Awiti (Homa Bay) and Siaya Deputy Governor Dr James Okumbe.
He said that the delegates will have an opportunity to discuss and comprehend recommendations in the report.
“The meeting is very important as it is a step in mobilising the citizenry to participate in this round of BBI enrichment. The stakeholders will robustly discuss the report and we will later give our views as a region,” said Mr Ongwae. After the Kisii meeting, he said, another one will be held in Western region.
The county bosses said that leaders and the public have given individual views on the report, adding that ODM party and Nyanza region were yet to come up with a common stand.
“Many people including me have our personal opinions on issues raised in the BBI report, but we have to sit down, discuss, interpret the report and guide the public so that they can make an informed choice,” said Prof Nyong’o.
Mr Nyongo and his Homa Bay counterpart Cyprian Awiti, termed the conference a good way to kick-start important discourse on the document.
“President Uhuru Kenyatta and Mr Odinga have given us an opportunity to discuss and give our input on constitutional changes that will help solve decades-old issues,” said Mr Awiti.
Nyamira’s Nyagarama and Dr Okumbe said that having a regional stand will help push for the people’s best interests.
Speaking separately, Siaya senator James Orengo, former Bondo MP Dr Oburu Oginga, governor Cornel Rasanga, Nyakach MP Aduma Owuor, Rarieda MP Otiende Amolo and Siaya woman representative Dr Christine Ombaka said the party was yet to meet and take a position on the issue of the PM's position.
They said that the sentiments expressed in the past — and taken as the party's position on whether ODM supports an executive prime minister or not — were opinions of individual leaders and not the official position of the party.
Speaking on behalf of the four legislators, Mr Rasanga said the issue of the PMs position was among a raft of topics that the regional meetings that the party has lined up will discuss and take a position on before making the findings of the deliberations public.
"We are at the stage of discussion, and we are touching on a number of things on the report before we come up with a common position," said Mr Rasanga.
The party is also grappling with the kind of system should be adopted when the country finally adopts the many proposals being bandied around in coming up with desired constitutional changes as recommended in BBI report.
Senator Orengo said that part of the discussion which is included in the BBI report is that the executive should be in parliament.
"It means ministers appointed will come from Parliament. This is meant to bring in more accountability in a system that can be described as parliamentary as opposed to presidential," he said.
Dr Oginga said Kenyans should also realise that the creation of the position of the PM is not for a particular individual.