Regional kingpins position themselves to steer campaign in their strongholds
Politicians supporting the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) have started angling themselves to lead the much-anticipated campaigns to popularise the document in their backyards.
A source privy to the planning told People Daily that key politicians have already started positioning themselves to take charge of the BBI campaigns, which kicked off on Thursday with President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition leader Raila Odinga holding a major rally in Kisumu town to drum up support for the document.
Sources said there were already murmurs of discontent following the emergence of a list of key personalities who have been proposed to steer the campaigns in the country’s eight regions.
Those opposed to the list including Senate Chief Whip Irungu Kangata argue that governors are better placed to spearhead the campaigns in their respective counties assisted by local politicians.
The controversial list includes Baringo Senator Gideon Moi, (Rift Valley), Governor Ali Joho, (Mombasa), Maina Kamanda and George Aladwa (Nairobi), Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya (Western), Senator James Orengo and Governor James Ongwae (Nyanza), Yusuf Haji and Aden Keynan (North Eastern region) while in Central Kenya, governors will steer the campaigns.
National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi is also expected to play a role. Kang’ata said he was in support of governors spearheading the campaigns since they have the capacity to mobilise people at the grassroots.
Ndaragua MP Jeremiah Kioni also criticised the list saying the campaign team would appear more organised if they are led by groups of people representing different ideas.
Keynan, the Jubilee Party Parliamentary Group Secretary, said his Northern Kenya region supports the BBI report for introducing the Ward Fund in particular and retaining the CDF.
“It is a good document in terms of national inclusivity where everyone has been put on board, the Ward Fund comes in handy especially for people from vast areas where MPs take time to reach,” said Keynan.
In the upper Eastern region, Wiper Leader Kalonzo Musyoka is said to be angling to spearhead the campaigns alongside Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu.
Although the two do not read from the same script in terms of regional politics, BBI is likely to bring them together this time round.
They, however have to fight the onslaught of their opponents, Kivutha Kibwana (Makueni), Alfred Mutua (Machakos) and seasoned politician Johnstone Muthama who are opposing the initiative. Ngilu has since endorsed the BBI terming it well thought.