Kenya: Leaders Warn Against Political Games in BBI After Mombasa Rally

25 January 2020

Nairobi — Leaders supporting the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) have urged critics to stop political mind games and instead, declare their honest positions to Kenyans.

While lauding Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen for joining the BBI rally in Mombasa, Likoni MP Mishi Juma Mboko asked their rivals to stop fighting BBI.

"I would like to thank Senator Murkomen for supporting the referendum and now we are inviting the other critics to come and join us as BBI also includes agendas that will support women," said Mboko.

Cherengani Member of Parliament Joshua Kutuny further warned BBI critics taking part in the rally against political mind games and instead focus on uniting Kenyans.

"Let this be coming from the bottom of your heart and not dividing us again," Kutuny said.

Murkomen, a leading loyalist of Deputy President William Ruto was at the meeting with, MPs Mohamed Ali (Nyali), Moses Kuria (Gatundu North), Aisha Jumwa (Malindi) and Khatib Mwashetani.

"It's the first time in history for politicians to sit on one dias and have a common stand and it is no longer about us versus them; we are united. We've all agreed that referendum is a must," said Murkomen, refering to former Prime Minister Raila Odinga as Baba, repeatedly after weeks of a contest, in which he accused him of using BBI to ascend to power.

Senate Minority Leader James Orengo mocked, saying "If you want a miracle do not attend tomorrow's (Sunday) church service since we have already witnessed one in Mombasa because Murkomen has called Raila 'Baba'."

Orengo called for genuine conversation and speedy implementation of the BBI recommendation.

As the rally was underway in Mombasa, Ruto was in Cherangany, where he asked leaders to keep 2022 politics out of the Building Bridges Initiative.

Speaking at Kapsigilai grounds in Cherangany Constituency, Trans Nzoia County, during a meeting of churches, on Saturday, the Deputy President said leaders should give ordinary Kenyans the opportunity to own BBI.

"The ongoing meetings will lose meaning if leaders who talked during the Kisii and Kakamega rallies are the same ones talking in all other meetings. Let's give others the opportunity to address these meetings," said Ruto, on the same day Murkomen led other Tanga Tanga leaders to Mombasa, including Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria, Nyali's Mohamed Ali and Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa-all known to be harsh critics of the BBI that resulted from the March 2018 handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Odinga who now enjoy a close working relationship.

The Deputy President said leaders should be sincere and honest on the BBI issues if its intention of uniting the country has to be realized.

'Let's be sincere and focus on the BBI recommendations if we are to achieve our intentions of uniting the country. When time for politics comes, it is Kenyans who will decide on their leaders," he also said.

The Deputy President was accompanied by MPs Oscar Sudi (Kapseret), Robert Pukose (Endebess), Caleb Kositany (Soy) and Janet Nangabo (Women Rep, Trans Nzoia).

Others were former MPs Kipruto Kirwa (Cherangany), Boaz Kaino (Marakwet West) and Wesley Korir (Cherangany).

Ruto urged the Yusuf Haji led taskforce to release its programme for ordinary citizens to present their views.

"Every voice and every citizen has a right to be heard," he said, "At the same time, the Deputy President asked Jubilee leaders to jealously guard their party against individuals who wanted to wreck it to achieve their selfish interests ahead of 2022.

He said the party made promises to Kenyans and it was upon its leaders to help in implementing them.

Ruto said some leaders were well known for destroying political parties citing Narc, Cord and now Nasa, adding that the same leaders were working hard to bring confusion and division in the Jubilee Party.

"Jubilee leaders should know that ultimately the buck stops with our party if we fail to implement the promises we made to Kenyans. Let's pay special attention to our development projects," he said.

Ruto said the ongoing debate on the BBI report should not stop the implementation of the Jubilee's development projects.

He said Sh1.6 billion would be used to connect 25,000 new households in Trans Nzoia County under the last mile connectivity programme.

"We've connected 80,000 households in Trans Nzoia County up from 20,000 households in 2013," said Dr Ruto.

He said chiefs and their assistants have been asked to ensure all pupils who sat the Kenya Certificate of primary Education (KCPE) last year were enrolled in secondary schools as part of the efforts to achieve the 100 percent transition from primary to secondary.

The MPs urged Opposition leaders to stop using BBI as an avenue to push their political agenda ahead of 2022.

Sudi said Opposition leaders were working round the clock to stop the Deputy President from ascending to the presidency in 2022.

"We want to know if the BBI is about the unity of Kenyans or a vehicle to drive ODM leader Raila Odinga's 2022 presidential bid," said Sudi.

Kositany and Nangabo welcomed President Kenyatta's directive on public servants to desist from politics and serve Kenyans.

"The President should take action against civil servants engaging in politics instead of doing the work they were appointed to do," said Ms Nangabo.

Pukose said it was unfortunate that Mr Odinga was using BBI to divide Kenyans contrary to President Kenyatta's commitment of uniting the country through the initiative.

Kirwa told President Kenyatta to be cautious while dealing with Mr Odinga, saying the Opposition leader was known for destroying political parties.

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