Kenya: Ruto to Attend BBI Launch at Bomas After Skipping Hand-Over in Kisii

26 October 2020

Nairobi — Deputy President William Ruto will attend the formal launch of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report at the Bomas of Kenya, after skipping the hand-over in Kisii last week.

Multiple interviews with sources in his circle said he is scheduled to attend the launch by President Uhuru Kenyatta and his hand-shake partner Raila Odinga.

"He will be there," one official said, "you can be sure he can't miss the launch [of BBI]. You'll see him there even though he has expressed his reservations about the report," he said.

The report unveiled last week was set for a formal launch, where President Kenyatta, Odinga and technical experts who drafted it will seek to explain it to Kenyans.

"You remember even last time the Deputy President was at the Bomas of Kenya," an MP close to Ruto said, "so he will not miss this launch."

Ruto has made known his reservations about the report, and urged Kenyans to read and understand it before making their own decisions, even though hinting he will oppose major clauses in it.

He is particularly uncomfortable with the proposals for the establishment of an expanded Executive, complete with a Prime Minister, two deputies and the Leader of Opposition.

"If this BBI report is all about creating positions for individuals it should be opposed, it needs to be more centred to protecting the common Mwananchi," he said of the report that is aimed at amending the 2010 Constitution through a referendum ahead of the 2022 elections.

President Kenyatta and Raila who initiated the process of amending the constitution in March 2018 after burying the political hatchet, have been on an overdrive gear drumming up support for the document which, they say, will better Kenya's political landscape.

"Let's not politicize life. Politics will come and go but life and the society called Kenya will remain, and we have particular moments in history to look at things that make us not move forward and rectify together and this is such a moment," President Kenyatta said.

During a tour of the lakeside city of Kisumu, the two were categorical that the 'reggae train' had left the station and their was no turning back.

But Ruto has warned against what he described as an attempt to force the document to Kenyans, "This reggae bravado must stop because we need to a honest conversation that is all inclussive in the country."

Proposed changes include the adoption of a hybrid presidential-parliamentary system under which an elected President appoints a Prime Minister from among members of the majority party in the National Assembly.

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