Kenya: Ruto Allies Acuse ODM of Hijacking BBI Meetings

Deputy President William Ruto during an empowerment programme at Esibakala Primary School in Emuhaya in Vihiga County (file photo).
19 January 2020

Leaders allied to Deputy President William Ruto have slammed the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) consultative forums, saying it they have been hijacked by opposition leader Raila Odinga's Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) as it positions itself for the 2022 succession politics.

Led by Aldai MP Cornelius Serem and Nandi Senator Samson Cherargey, the politicians expressed fears that Mr Odinga and his team are out to polarise the country with their incessant attacks on the DP instead of discussing the contents of the BBI report.


"What happened on Saturday at Bukhungu Stadium was extremely embarrassing and sad. Instead of addressing the contents of the draft and preaching peace, it turned out to be political enmity and fight one individual. Mwananchi has gotten a raw deal and it is clear that BBI is more of a political assassination tool than a national initiative," said Mr Serem.

Senator Cherargey, a close ally of the DP, claimed that ODM brigades are using the BBI report as their political vehicle, a move he said is meant to tarnish Dr Ruto's image.


"We know what Raila and the team are doing - crisscrossing the nation hoodwinking the public that they are drumming up support for the BBI report when their real motive is to use it as a weapon to bar DP Ruto from ascending into power," said Mr Cherargey.

They now want the government to ban BBI rallies to avoid acrimony among Kenyans who are supporters of various politicians.

Turbo MP Janet Sitienei wondered why politicians are campaigning for BBI yet all Kenyans have accepted the document.

"We read the BBI report and embraced it as a good document meant to improve the lives of all Kenyans. It is interesting to see former Prime Minister Raila Odinga using the document to push for his selfish agenda," Ms Sitienei said on Saturday at Chepsaita Secondary School in her constituency.

Kesses MP Swarup Mishra said that Kenyans have embraced the BBI report and it should not be subjected to unnecessary campaigns by idle politicians.


"If all Kenyans have accepted BBI there is no need for these campaigns. What we saw in Kakamega and Kisii in the name of BBI meetings is not unifying Kenyans but abusing the trust of Kenyans on BBI," said Dr Mishra.

Speaking at Nai Secondary School on Saturday, Endebess MP Robert Pukose accused the ODM boss of using the BBI for self-gratification and to push for his political agenda.

The dismissed the Bukhungu BBI rally saying it was a platform for Mr Odinga and politicians to push for their political agenda.

"We are telling Kenyans that BBI is not for individuals. Those going around the country are only doing it for self-interest and undermining Deputy President William Ruto," said Dr Pukose.


On Saturday the western Kenya BBI consultative meeting was held at Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega, which was presided over by the ODM leader and Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya.

Dr Pukose also asked President Uhuru Kenyatta to honour the Jubilee memorandum of understanding (MoU) to support the DP in his presidential bid.

Soy MP Caleb Kositany wants all stakeholders under the guidance of the BBI taskforce to work together to ensure that its recommendations are implemented by April.

"BBI must be implemented by April for the country to move on and deliver the Big Four agenda to Kenyans," said Mr Kositany.

Reported by Onyango K'Onyango, Titus Ominde, Gerald Bwisa and Tom Matoke

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