ODM wants referendum this year

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ODM leader Raila Odinga and Siaya Senator James Orengo during the funeral service of Kahawa Wendani MCA Cyrus Odhiambo Omondi on March 6, 2020. PHOTO | TONNY OMONDI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) Friday stepped up the push to have a referendum held by end of July this year, with Siaya Senator James Orengo asking the National Treasury to present to Parliament a supplementary budget to fund the exercise.

The Siaya senator spoke in the presence of party leader Raila Odinga in Ugenya Friday at the burial ceremony of Kahawa Wendani MCA Cyrus Odhiambo, who was found dead in a hotel room in India on February 11, where he had travelled on official duty.

Mr Orengo made the remarks as the ODM leader said no voice should be stifled in the ongoing constitutional debate and asked those with divergent opinions to feel free to present their views.

Mr Odinga said because BBI was for inclusivity, everyone should be accorded space so that their views can also be heard.

“We encourage robust discussion around the constitutional review process. We want everyone to bring forth their views,” he told mourners at the MCA’s Humwend home.

ODM leader declared that the BBI initiative tis his third and last attempt to rescue the country from negative ethnicity and election violence.

Mr Odinga lashed out at a section of leaders whom he accused of pretending to support the initiative “during the day but plotting to derail it during the night”.

“BBI was meant to unite the country. We must deal with corruption, negative ethnicity, cycle of election violence brought about by bungled elections and fight poverty, disease and illiteracy, ” he said.

He said his dream with President Uhuru Kenyatta was to give the next generation a peaceful and united country.

During the burial ceremony, ODM leaders including Rarieda MP Otiende Amolo, nominated Senator Isaac Mwaura, Alego Usonga MP Samuel Atandi , Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi, Gem MP Elisha Odhiambo described the death of the ward representative as unnatural and called for thorough investigations. Mr Otiende and Mr Mwaura called for the formation of a commission of inquiry to investigate the matter.

Kiambu Governor James Nyoro, who also attended the burial event, promised to offer a job opportunity to the widow of the late MCA.

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