Keep off my name in BBI campaign rallies, Ruto tells politicians

Monday, January 20th, 2020 00:00 |
Deputy President William Ruto (right) joins Mama Agnes Nduku in a jig at St Christopher Catholic Parish-Kyumbi in Maanzoni, Machakos county, yesterday. Photo/DPPS

DPPS, Christine Musa and George Kebaso 

Deputy President William Ruto yesterday asked politicians campaigning for the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report to keep his name out of their rallies. 

He said the politicians were free to campaign for the document but should leave his name and insults out of their meetings. 

“I saw yesterday (Saturday) insults formed half of the meeting, there was less mention of BBI than mention of Ruto and his home in Sugoi,” he said.

The DP said the politicians should  instead ask Kenyans what they would prefer to have in the document than trivialising the forums.

Ruto spoke yesterday during a prayer service at Kyumbi Catholic Church in Maanzoni, Machakos county.

He urged the taskforce to come up with a countrywide programme that would accommodate the views of all Kenyans. 

Further, he asked leaders from across the political divide to respect those with divergent views and give them space to freely express themselves.

“There is no need to hold people with a different opinion in contempt to the extent of denying them an opportunity to express themselves,” he said.

Meanwhile, Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka has urged politicians to be tolerant with each other to avert animosity and political crisis over the BBI report.

Speaking at AIC Kasina Church in Athi-River, the former vice-president said it is unfortunate that all leaders attest BBI will unite  the country but are clearly divided among themselves.

Walk the talk

“Every leader is talking about uniting our country and need for addressing tribal divisions. Interestingly, all acknowledge that the BBI has addressed the inclusivity issue and will unite the country.

It is time that our leaders walk the talk for the posterity of our country, “he said. 

 At the same time, members of civil society want the ongoing BBI debate to largely adopt a citizen-based process where Kenyans are given genuine opportunity to participate.

 Fearing that politics is once again rearing its ugly head in a debate meant to chart a fresh way forward for the country after years of divisive elections, the civil society wants to be involved in educating Kenyans about the BBI proposals.

A group dubbed Referendum Debate Platform (Redep), led by the National Civil Society Congress chair Morris Odhiambo, yesterday raised concern over the direction the BBI debate has taken, cautioning that politics may overshadow the process.

Redep also condemned the Mumias incident, whereby some politicians opposed to the BBI were barred from holding a parallel rally.

On Saturday, police fired teargas at politicians allied to Ruto, as they attempted to hold a forum parallel to the BBI meeting held at Bukhungu Stadium.

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