Siaya County Senator James Orengo on Tuesday 11 May 2021 voted “YES” during the Second Reading for Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) Bill a day after meeting with his Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party leader Raila Odinga.
Orengo’s move came as a surprise following his recent concerns over the document which he said has some loopholes.
The Senator had questioned the authenticity of the document with his main concern revolving around the legality and distribution of the proposed 70 new constituencies.
On Monday 10, ODM party leader Raila Odinga hosted the Senator together with Rarieda Member of Parliament Atiende Omollo, Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu, and Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya.
Reports alleged that the meeting was to ease tension ahead of the BBI vote in the Senate as political analysts had started claiming that they had started seeing cracks inside the Opposition party.
Orengo took to his Twitter page saying that they had a meeting with the former Prime Minister indicating that he was still standing firm with him.
“Very refreshing to catch up with my Party Leader Hon. @RailaOdinga, Governor @GovWOparanya & Mama @mamangilu,” he wrote.
Orengo while criticizing the BBI report had challenged the ODM leadership saying that he has never been intimidated and would never allow that to happen in his political career as he has seen powerful people including Presidents come and go.
On Tuesday midafternoon, the Senate approved the BBI bill after 51 Senators voted in support of it paving the way for the planned referendum ahead of the 2022 General Election.
The motion mover and the motion mover and Senate Majority Leader Samuel Poghisio took to the floor to appeal to members to rise above even those pains or feelings and support the process so that Kenyans can go and do the rest by referendum or any other means.
In the Second Reading, out of the sixty-five senators who confirmed their presence, 52 voted in support of the BBI bill with only 12 rejecting it while one senator opted to abstain from the process.
In the Third Reading, there being no amendments, 51 senators voted “YES” while 11 members shot it down. However, no Senator abstained from the process.