Tanga Tanga MPs vow to defend original BBI report
Kirera Mwiti and Noah Cheploen
More than more 100 MPs allied to Deputy President William Ruto have vowed to oppose any move to ‘mutilate’ the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI), saying they will from next week hold their own rallies to discuss the report.
And in what could be the main point of departure with the ongoing regional reforms agenda rallies, the legislators rejected a proposal to create regional governments and other political positions that are likely to burden the mwananchi.
Speaking after a two-day retreat at the Lake Naivasha Resort, the MPs, led by Elgeyo-Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen, said they will hold BBI sensitisation rallies in their strongholds starting with Nakuru on February 8.
“As far as we are concerned, there is only one BBI report and that is the one we’re discussing because that is the report that carries the aspirations of the ordinary people…” he said.
“We propose additional rallies, to facilitate greater participation and inclusivity, so as to promote a wider understanding of the BBI document and its capture of people-centred issues,” he added.
Murkomen said unlike the Mombasa meeting where only top political leadership spoke, Kenyans from all walks of life would be given a chance to air their proposals.
“We are asking the BBI taskforce to use funds given by the State to print the original BBI report so that Kenyans can go through it before airing their views,” he said.
The latest move comes barely two days after ODM leader Raila Odinga led senior politicians in a rally in Mombasa, where some Jubilee leaders were denied an opportunity to address the gathering.
Yesterday, Murkomen, who is also the Senate Majority leader, said despite being humiliated at the Mombasa rally, they will organise BBI rallies across the 47 counties.
“We were in Mombasa in huge numbers even if we were not recognised. Some of us were not given the chance to be (sic)... but we will be in the next meeting which we are told will be in either Kitui, Embu or Meru,” he said.
Following the two-day workshop for Jubilee and like-minded parliamentarians in Naivasha, the leaders agreed to support the parallel rallies. The Raila-led team is set to hold their rally in Nakuru on February 23.
Murkomen was, however, quick to warn that their series of rallies was not meant to counter the other meetings.
“These rallies are meant to strengthen the initiative and the President, his deputy, Raila and other like-minded leaders are invited,” he said.
On referendum, the senator said they would reach a decision based on views of Kenyans to the BBI taskforce.
Earlier in a statement read by Bungoma Woman Representative Catherine Wambilianga, the legislators expressed concern over how the BBI rallies had been conducted.
She said the discussions were about personalities and positions for the political class with issues affecting ordinary Kenyans forgotten.
Saku MP Dido Ali Rasso called on the BBI taskforce to release the schedule of public engagement meetings.