Deputy President William Ruto has asked leaders to keep 2022 politics out of the Building Bridges Initiative, even as his close allies attended a rally with Raila Odinga in Mombasa, where they pledged full support for the proposals.
He said leaders should focus on the recommendations of the BBI during the ongoing meetings, including the one held in Mombasa on Saturday when leaders loyal to him led by Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen who declared his presence signified “an end to us vs them” narrative.
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.
Also in attendance in Mombasa, 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 KSh1.6 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 Ruto.
He said chiefs and their assistants have been asked to ensure all pupils who sat the Kenya Certificate of primary Education last year were enrolled in secondary schools as part of the efforts to achieve the 100% 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 Nangabo.
Pkose said it was unfortunate that 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 Odinga, saying the Opposition leader was known for destroying political parties.
“What we are witnessing is a situation where some Opposition leaders want to sideline other Kenyans through BBI to achieve their selfish ends in 2022 and we should not allow this to happen,” said Kirwa.