Kuria’s brother Ngigi leads BBI signature collection in Gatundu
In what appears like a sibling rivalry, Gatundu South Member of Parliament Moses Kuria and his brother John Ngigi have taken different routes on the BBI signature collection issue.
Unlike Kuria, his brother Ngigi who is the Kiambu County Chief Officer in charge of Livestock and Fisheries is now spearheading a campaign in support of the Building Bridges Initiative(BBI) signatures collection drive in President Uhuru Kenyatta's home constituency.
The outspoken MP told the Peole Daily that his only issue with the signature drive is that no effort has been made by drafters of the document to reduce the proposed number of parliamentary seats.
"I have been consistent in my campaign to reduce the burden on taxpayers. How can the country's economy sustain 640 Members of Parliament? Remember I am the one who initiated the 'punda amechoka punguza mzigo' initiative," Kuria said.
While Kuria has been demanding a review in the Constitution Amendment Bill to see the proposed number of nominated women MPs and the additional MPs removed, Ngigi says the document is fine and any errors therein should be corrected after the referendum.
Kuria, a staunch supporter of Deputy President William Ruto has been asking his supporters to join him in demanding for the change, stating that Kenyans cannot afford the new governance structure due to the declining state of the economy.
According to Kuria, Kenyans will be forced to pay hefty salaries and buy big cars for the large number of Members of Parliament.
But his brother Ngigi dismissed him as insincere insisting that all the areas he wanted amended among them reinstatement of the National Police Service Commission that was to be abolished and be replaced by Kenya Police Council have been addressed in the new document.
He said that Kuria and like-minded politicians have "changed their goal posts" from their earlier demands and are now calling for reduction of the number of parliamentarians.
Ngigi was speaking at his Wamwangi village home where he took the BBI campaign which attracted tens of locals who appended their signatures in support of the document.
“Their complaints are neither here nor there. They are misleading people since all the issues that were earlier raised have been amended,” he told journalists in Gatundu.
While insisting that signing is not passing of the BBI but a start of a healthy discussion before the country heads for a referendum, the chief officer noted that the constitutional amendments will end tribal and intercommunity clashes that emanate during electioneering periods.
Similarly, Thika politician Nduati Njuguna appealed to Central Kenya politicians opposed to the BBI report including Kuria, Martha Karua and Ndindi Nyoro to change their stand and join in the signature collection exercise.
Njuguna who has initiated a door-to-door signature collection trail criticized elected leaders from the area accusing them of being aloof and abandoning the process.
Further, he said that the changes will empower devolution by guaranteeing all counties increased revenue allocation from the national government from the current 15 percent of the national share to 35 percent.
“We want an end to disunity and divisions that emerge every election period. The bid is only incorporated in the BBI and we will support it,” Njuguna added.
The sentiments were echoed by residents led by Lilian Kagwe who lauded the introduction of ward development funds and vowed to continue wooing more locals to join the train.