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President Uhuru Kenyatta (left), Jubilee Secretary General Raphael Tuju (centre) and ODM leader Raila Odinga (right) after a meeting with MPs at State House on January 13, 2021. /PSCU.

COUNTDOWN TO 2022

Uhuru, Raila urge Senate to fast-track Azimio Bill and stop demonizing it

NAIROBI, Kenya Jan 13 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has drummed up support for the divisive Political Parties Amendment Bill (2021) noting that it is regrettable that some leaders were “demonizing” it with no good reason.

The Head of State who hosted MPs at State House on Thursday lauded Members of the National Assembly for passing it despite the opposition that was witnessed.

“We all know that it was a very difficult holiday period because of Covid-19 but you turned out in huge numbers. You left your homes, you left your families and came out in huge numbers to pass pieces of legislation that are going to be a game-changer,” he said.

President Kenyatta noted that if the Bill becomes law, it will serve the country well notably by enhancing inclusivity and streamlining the activities of political parties in the country.

“The bill is giving us an opportunity to be able to formally work together across political parties in the interest of the nation,” he said.

Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga who also attended the meeting lauded the House for passing the Bill and urged the Senate to follow suit and fast-talk its passage.

President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga (right) during a meeting with MPs at State House on January 13, 2021. /PSCU.

“I just want to say, like it has been said before, that law and constitution-making is always work in progress.

Even the old age constitution, the democratic constitution of Unites States of America, is still work in progress, and they have got several amendments which they always put to use the 5th Amendment, 6th Amendment and so on and so forth.

“So, really, it is not a crime for somebody to see something is wrong in our constitution or in our law that we need to change because it always makes things better.

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MPs and Senators allied to President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee and Raila Odinga’s ODM attended a meeting at State House, Nairobi on January 13, 2021. /PSCU.

“They say that a good idea always yields to a better idea, and a better idea would yield to the best idea. So what you guys are doing is basically trying to improve governance in our country. So we really want to thank you very, very sincerely for what you did,” he said.

The Senate is next week on Thursday and Friday scheduled to conduct public hearings for the Bill before tabling it on the floor of the House for its second reading where members will debate it and subsequently take a vote.

The House Justice Legal Affairs and Human Rights Committee which is handling the hearings is expected to table its report when the House resumes its sittings on February 2, 2022.

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