Ruto hints at progress in consensus building talks

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2020 09:40 |
Deputy President William Ruto with Bahati MP Kimani Ngunjiri during the burial of the MP’s mother Edith Wanjiku in Nakuru county, yesterday. Photo/DPPS

Deputy President William Ruto yesterday hinted that he was making progress in his efforts to build consensus on the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) bill ahead of today’s meeting with his allies to take a stand on the matter.

Speaking in Nakuru County during the burial of the mother to Bahati MP Kimani Ngunjuri, Ruto without divulging much, stated that there was a big chance that the country would avoid a divisive referendum saying that they were already making progress in a bid to reach consensus with President Kenyatta.

Ruto spoke on the eve of today’s planned meeting at his Karen residence aimed at taking a position on whether to reject or throw his weight behind the constitutional amendments through BBI the plebiscite.

“Nobody is against BBI. All we want is a win-win situation. There should be no winners and losers because Kenya is big to accommodate all of us,” Ruto said. He said that his opponents were desperate to create an “us-versus-them” kind of scenario

“Let us walk together because this country belongs to all of us,” he said, without explaining the nature of the progress” being made or the “consensus” being sought.

Last Friday, Ruto had sent strong hints that he was open to supporting the BBI, stating in a tweet that the BBI referendum bill captures the needs of the ‘hustler nation’ even as he urged for a non-contested referendum.

“I’ve a constitutional duty to assist my boss, the President. We have made improvements to BBI post-Bomas.

Now working on consensus for Kenyans to have real choices to decide/vote while avoiding yes/no, all/nothing division. We avoided lose-lose we can overcome win-lose to achieve win-win,” he tweeted..

Speaking to People Daily yesterday, Ruto’s right hand man, Soy MP Caleb Kositany downplayed reports that Ruto was backtracking on his initial opposition to the BBI report and the referendum push in general.

Kositany maintained that today’s meeting was in the best interests of the nation.

“I will attend that meeting because it is for the interest of all of us. The DP has been on record calling for consensus and there is no change of tune.”

He dismissed those terming the DP’s move as mischievous and questioned why they were scared.

“I think it is better for all of us to be honest and the DP has been clear that if consensus works then there is no need for a contested referendum,” he said.

Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei on his part stated that today’s meeting would be “consultative” and would dwell on on cros-s cutting issues, including BBI. 

“Remember as DP Ruto’s camp we have been calling on consensus as opposed to a Yes and No campaign,” he stated. 

“We want a consensus where all Kenyans regardless of where they come from all their concerns are addressed, “ he said.

Remember we were pushing for guarantee minimum to be part of the process.

We want to bring our heads together because we believe there is room for amendment to bring everyone on board,” he added.

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