Minorities call for re-look at BBI draft before referendum vote

Tuesday, October 27th, 2020 00:00 |
Somek sub-tribe chairman Francis Chemwor Somgen. Photo/PD/DAVID MUSUNDI

Marginalised groups in Trans Nzoia County have expressed reservations over the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) Report officially launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday saying the document needed to be re-looked at before it is subjected to a referendum.

Led by the chairman of the Somek council of elders Francis Chemwor Somgen, the groups, comprising the Ogiek and Cherangany Sengwer wondered why their recommendations to the Yusuf Haji-led task force had been expunged from the draft.

“We fully support the document which we have started studying in order to fully understand so that we come up with a common stand on its adoption.

We are however not happy at the purposeful omission of the views which we presented to the task force that has assumed our presence in this region,” he spoke during an interview with the People Daily in Kitale Tuesday.

They pleaded with the President and opposition leader Raila Odinga to intervene to have their grievances addressed for sustainable peace and tranquility.

Somgen challenged youthful leaders not to demonstrate their unusual strength of character hurling insults at the country’s political leadership.

Youth leader Alex Matere who took on Deputy President William Ruto over his hustler narrative, which is anchored, on helping the majority of the youths to come out of poverty, Somgen said Kenyans should embrace each other in seeking for a united nation devoid of hatred.

The communities said the 35 percent increase in the amount allocated to the counties was a great milestone and asked for additional county administrative units to cater for the interests of the marginalised tribes among them the Sabaots living in Bungoma and Trans Nzoia counties and the Cherangany Sengwer living in Trans Nzoia, Marakwet and Uasin Gishu counties.

“It is quite unfortunate for the senator Yusuf Haji-led task force to have failed to let our demands of being allocated Mt. Elgon County to cater for our needs to enjoy the fruits of devolution like other Kenyans.,” he said.

They faulted some clauses among them, the appointment of an Ombudsman by the President which they said heralded lack of independence of the Judiciary.

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