A full tray of expectations awaits ODM leader Raila Odinga on his return from Dubai, where he underwent a minor surgery.
Amid simmering tensions between some of his key lieutenants and those of his ‘handshake’ partner Uhuru Kenyatta, Mr Odinga is expected to put out fires ignited by scramble for lofty National Assembly committee posts.
Even though some ODM MPs have downplayed any differences, others seem to have taken issue with sentiments associated with Jubilee Vice Chairman David Murathe that the president was simply doing ODM “a favour” by sharing the spoils from purge on allies of Deputy President William Ruto.
Some of the contested positions, but which ODM says had been agreed upon, are chairmanship of the justice and legal affairs, and budget committees.
Away from Parliament, the former prime minister will also face intense pressure from activists and families of victims of 2017 post-election chaos, as well as persons displaced during 2007 political turmoil who now see possible delays in addressing their plight through the nine-point-agenda ‘handshake’.
Kisumu City Residents Voice chairman Audi Ogada and Nyanza Regional IDPs chairman Nelson Owegi yesterday said they were concerned with the delays in compensation to affected families.
He gave the example of the family of Baby Pendo, little girl who succumbed to injuries inflicted by police in their house in 2017, which is still awaiting payment even after several officers were found culpable for her death.
“The handshake can achieve its objectives if those who faced injustices, victims of post-election violence, are compensated and what we are seeing are delays that must now be addressed,” Mr Ogada said.
He said there is need for a well-structured healing process led by President Kenyatta and Mr Odinga.
“These lot must be recognised in the BBI agenda in terms of compensation plans and be involved in the healing process,” he add-ed.
Mr Owegi lamented that despite giving their proposal to the BBI team, their views were not reflected in the first draft.
“Just a handful of IDPs have been compensated yet in other regions, their plight had been addressed and some even given land. We expect similar treatment,” he said.
But ODM National Treasurer Timothy Bosire said addressing historical injustices was a gradual process hence “no need to bom-bard our party leader with demands at the moment.”
“Some things happen gradually and not practical in short term. Some of the proposals in the nine-point agenda are immediate, oth-ers are medium-term and long-term.”
On his arrival, Mr Odinga is expected to join Mr Kenyatta in unveiling of the final Building Bridges Initiative report.
The release of the final document, which will change the political landscape in the country, has been delayed since Mr Odinga flew out of the country.
Last week, BBI Steering Committee Chairman Senator Yusuf Haji told the Nation that they will only hand in their report when the principals are ready.
ODM chairman John Mbadi told the Nation that he is not aware of the exact date when Mr Odinga will return to Kenya but said “anytime” this week.
Mr Mbadi said due to coronavirus pandemic, there might be no grand welcome for the former prime minister by his support.
“Baba would have been welcomed by his supporters, but I don’t think that will be case. To me the important thing is that the surgery went well and he is also recovering well at least by the reports that we have so far seen,” Mr Mbadi said.
Upon receiving and making the report public, Mr Odinga together with President Kenyatta are supposed to give clear guidelines on its execution to their troops in Parliament, especially on areas that will require legislation.
The National Assembly through Constitution Implementation Oversight Committee (CIOC) has already published the referendum bill that is supposed to guide the conduct of such a poll.
The bill is set to undergo second reading when the House resumes its sittings on July 28.