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Raila says ‘the handshake’ which birthed BBI has won international acclaim

Leaders join tradition dancers before getting down to the business of the day at Bukhungu Stadium. Kakamega County/Courtesy

NAIROBI, Kenya Jan 18 – Orange Democratic Movement Leader Raila Odinga says ‘the handshake’ is symbolic of Kenya’s political unity and it has even attracted international attention.

Speaking during the Building Bridges Initiative forum in Kakamega county Bukhungu Stadium, Saturday, the opposition leader noted the handshake has worked for the greater good of the country.

Raila said that he and President Uhuru have been invited to the United States for two days early next month to speak about the handshake.

“The president and I have been invited to Washington DC for a prayer breakfast to discuss merits of the handshake, they say it is unique and has only been seen in Kenya,” he enthused.

He further stated the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) will put in place structures that will guide the governing of the country for posterity.

Raila said that he and president Uhuru came up with the BBI to transform the country after various earlier attempts to transform the country failed despite there being a constitution.

“We want to transform Kenya, we have a constitution but its not working, we still have problems despite having it ,we need to find new solutions that govern this country not just for today or 2022 but permanent ones,” Raila said.

The forum was attended by ODM leader Raila Odinga, Council of Governors Chairperson Wycliffe Oparanya, Cabinet Secretary of Devolution Eugene Wamalwa, Kirinyanga Governor Anne Waiguru and her Kitui counterpart Charity Ngilu together with Central Organisatin of Trade Unions (COTU), Secretary General Francis Atwoli.

The COTU boss Francis Atwoli said that BBI was the surest way for Luhyas to get into government.

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CS Wamalwa said that President Kenyatta will visit Western soon to discuss the ailing sugar sector.

Musalia Mudavadi of the Amani National Congress and FORD-Kenya’s Moses Wetangula who were expected to be at the parallel meeting in Mumius made a surprise appearance and expressed their support for the initiative.

During the first BBI rally in Kisii County the opposition leader vowed to rally Kenyans to support the recommendations of the report saying it was for the benefit of all Kenyans.

He further appealed to leaders to avoid using the BBI Report to divide the country along regional or ethnic lines.

The series of consultative meetings are expected to be held in Mombasa, Embu, Garissa, Eldoret, Suswa, Nakuru in coming weeks before concluding with one in President Kenyatta’s backyard of Central region.

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