It’s BBI way or highway, President Uhuru tells Ruto camp

Wednesday, January 15th, 2020 00:00 |
Some BBI Steering Committee members from left Yusuf Haji (chair), Adams Oloo and Paul Mwangi (joint secretary). Photo/PD/FILE

President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday sent a clear message that he was determined to proceed with the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) despite opposition by his deputy William Ruto and his allies.

Uhuru reiterated that the BBI, which is a product of the March 9, 2018 Handshake between him and Opposition leader Raila Odinga, was not meant to create positions for politicians as alleged by the Ruto’s camp.

Addressing the nation from State House Mombasa, the President told politicians not to allow politics to come in the way of the BBI debate which, he regretted, had already been hijacked by selfish interests.

All winners

“This BBI is not about creating positions for any person. We are talking about how we can have better governance, how to deal with corruption, youth unemployment, creating a feeling of equity and fairness so that, after every election, we don’t have to fight. We can all be winners in elections,” the President said.

He added: “Kenyans are interested in their prosperity and that is where I am. I am not for anybody I am on the side of the 47 million Kenyans,” he said.

The Deputy President and his supporters have been uncomfortable with the BBI which they claim is a plot to deny him the presidency.

But in an apparent attack of the DP and his Tanga Tanga faction who have been crisscrossing the country preaching against the BBI, Uhuru said it was unfortunate that some people felt the BBI had excluded them.

“Let us not allow competitive politics, which always ruin this country, to get in the way of dealing with the real issues affecting Kenyans,” he said.

BBI taskforce

On Monday, the President published the names of the BBI taskforce in the official Kenya Gazette, another indication that he is prepared to push ahead with changes to the Constitution.

The terms of reference of the steering committee, whose term has been extended, will be to conduct a validation of the BBI report through consultations with citizens, civil society, faith organisations, cultural leaders, the private sector and experts.

“The Terms of Reference of the Steering Committee shall be to: propose administrative, policy, statutory or constitutional changes that may be necessary for the implementation of the recommendations contained in the taskforce report, taking into account any relevant contributions made during the validation period,” read the gazette notice in part.

After consultations, the committee is expected to come up with proposals that will pave the way for implementation of the BBI report.

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