ODM MPS on Thursday voted overwhelmingly yes in support of the first amendment of the BBI despite widening cracks in the party.
First of all, the national assembly in a rare move obtained the two-thirds required thresholds to vote on constitution amendment. 320 Legislatures turned up for the session. 255 MPs voted ‘Yes’, 83 voted ‘No’ while two abstained from taking the vote.
In the Third reading, ‘Yes’ got 224 votes while 63 voted ‘No’. Ending the stalemate in the house.
But why did ODM MPs Really Cast Their Vote Supporting BBI?
Most ODM MPs decided to votes to show their loyalty to their leader Raila Odinga. Raila and President Uhuru Kenyatta are the proponents of BBI. In recent times some Lawmakers from ODM have accused the President of planning to betray Raila in the BBI process especially after it passed the crucial stages. But ODM MPs have proved to Raila that they got his back by voting overwhelmingly to support BBI.
The majority of them decided to tore the line by voting Yes for the fear of repercussion like the one that befell Otiende Omollo. Omollo was de-whipped from his position as the Chair of the Legal and Justice Committee for holding a dissenting view on BBI. His Position was handed to TJ Kajwang, Raila’s most loyal ally who presided over the mock swearing-in at Uhuru Park. So most MPs voted Yes to avoid harsh punishments which in extreme cases may have resulted in expulsion from the party and losing the parliamentary seats.
Some voted Yes with the sole agenda of receiving BBI goodies. Raila’s men are looking to be among the beneficiaries of BBI after it becomes law. Most of them are eyeing plum position as enshrined in the Bill, while others are banking on party support to advance their political careers during the 2022 general elections. Some MPs are eyeing Senate and Gubernatorial seats hanging on ODM support to sail through.
Moreover, some ODM decided to vote yes to disapprove Tangatanga MPs and show them that they have the numbers. Tangatanga wing which is affiliated with the Deputy President William Ruto has been bragging about having numbers. They were greeted with a rude shock after the BBI bill received the majority vote. This is a plus on Raila’s side on wants to ride on the numbers to forge a way forward on his path to Presidency.
As MPs wait on the verdict from the senate, also one hurdle still awaits. The high court is expected to decide on the fate of BBI after a group challenged its process. A five-judge bench had ordered IEBC against preparing and conducting the referendum till the matter is resolved.
Should the court fail to find faults in the process, the Bill will be headed into a referendum.