We are not interested in BBI report launch, say Ruto allies
Anthony Mwangi, Mercy Mwai and Hillary Mageka
Several legislators allied to Deputy President William Ruto have vowed to boycott the launch of the Building Bridges Initiative report at Bomas of Kenya today.
Some of the politicians, who belong to the Ruto-leaning Tanga Tanga group, said they were angered by the decision to use county commissioners to send invitations to the forum while others said they were not interested in the report.
Laikipia Woman Rep Cate Waruguru said she would not attend the event because she was opposed to the report.
“I cannot attend the meeting since I am against it in its entirety. I am ready to fight it with all my energy,” she said.
Soy MP Caleb Kositany wondered why the county commissioner who invited him to the launch did not invite him to the BBI task force forum in his county.
“I will not attend the launch as I have nothing to do with it. I will be in Parliament doing what I was elected by the people of Soy to do,” he said.
Kirinyaga Woman Rep Wangui Ngirici said she had been invited through a text message from her county commissioner but will not attend.
“I am not interested in what the BBI report has,” she said.
Kitutu Masaba MP Shadrack Mose said channeling the invitation through county commissioners was demeaning to legislators.
“How can we be invited by county commissioners?” posed Mose.
But in a message read at the National Assembly by Speaker Justin Muturi, President Uhuru Kenyatta invited Members of Parliament to attend the launch.
“The President has personally extended an invitation to all Members to the launch of the report,” the message read in part.
Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichungw’a said notwithstanding the Uhuru’s invitation, he had already made up his mind not to attend. He said involving national government administrators in legislative matters was taking the country back to the dark days of Kanu government.
“I am not under any county commissioner. I had declined to go to Bomas on invitation of a county commissioner because this would have taken us back to the old Kanu days,” he said.
He said the Executive should in future use the Speaker’s office to invite MPs to such events.
Fear of humiliation
Others said they were wary of being humiliated at the function to be presided over by Uhuru and Opposition leader Raila Odinga.
Bahati MP Kimani Ngunjiri said he will boycott Bomas to avoid being “humiliated the way we were at the Sagana State Lodge” where Uhuru met Mt Kenya leaders recently.
Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei said he would not attend the launch after receiving an invitation via a text message from his County Commissioner late at night.
“In any case, I do not see the need to attend the meeting. I will wait for those who will attend to pass the message,” said the senator, who is also the chair of the Senate’s Justice and Legal Affairs committee.
But Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua, a Tanga Tanga member, said he would attend the event.
“I cannot support or criticise something I am not aware of. I have been invited by the county commissioner formally,” he said.
Nyali MP Mohammed Ali confirmed he will attend the launch.
“I will be attending the meeting like any other Kenya. I received the invitation yesterday (Monday) at midnight,” he said.
Some MPs from Kisii county, who did not want to be named claimed a Cabinet Secretary had directed that MPs from the region allied to Ruto be denied an invitation for the BBI report launch.
“Some of us received the invitation at the last minute while others are yet to receive it. All this because of one CS who thinks he owns Kenya,” said an MP.
Aldai MP Cornely Serem said he will not attend the function despite being formally invited.
“There is no reason for me to attend that meeting. All of us know how constitutional changes can be instituted and this is definitely not the way,” he said.
North Mugirango MP Joash Nyamoko said he was yet to make up his mind whether to attend or not.
“I have been invited but I’m yet to make a decision whether to attend the launch.