Orange Democratic Movement Leader Raila Odinga allies’ differences in opinion played out on Thursday, April 29, 2021 as Rarieda Member Parliament Otiende Amollo slammed his Suba South counterpart John Mbadi during BBI debate in parliament.
Mbadi was of the view that the report could be amended by
Parliament even after voters had appended their signatures, arguing that it needed
to align with the constitution.
Amollo, who is a Senior Counsel, ridiculed Mbadi’s
understanding of the law, noting that a constitutional amendment
bill could be valid even if unconstitutional.
“Mr. Speaker as a matter of law, and this is where I disagree
with my chairman, a constitutional amendment can be unconstitutional.
“Now what we have done, and professors of law like John Mbadi saying is not true but that is your view. I am talking about the law. John Mbadi you’ve not stepped in Law school so just allow me,” Amollo stated.
Mbadi on Wednesday, April 28, had
argued that amending the bill could not be unconstitutional
especially coming from a popular initiative.
Amollo noted that the ultimate
recommendation of the report was for the bill to be passed by both Houses
without any amendments.
“It is true that there are members who may have spoken prematurely on this not knowing the conclusion of this report,” Amollo stated.
The lawyer also clarified that the report presented to the Senate by Justice and Legal Affairs Committee pointed out typographical errors within the BBI bill but he termed them as minor.
He noted that Parliament ought not to make any substantive
change to a document that had come through popular initiative.
Reports had indicated that there was trouble within the BBI
camp over decisions on whether to amend the bill. A section of the BBI
proponents pushed for the BBI bill to be amended within Parliament.
However, other lawmakers argued that the bill should proceed to a referendum without any changes.
The key issues dividing the BBI camp is the proposed creation of 70 constituencies as various leaders claim that their regions were shortchanged.
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