Why Ruto’s reaction on BBI ruling smacks of hypocrisy

Tuesday, May 18th, 2021 00:00 |
The five-Judge deliver the judgement on the BBI Bill. They declared the initiative an illegality. Photo/PD/Charles Mathai

Joseph Mutua Ndonga         

Since the inception of the Building Bridges Initiative idea, Deputy President William Ruto’s position on the same has remained clear.

He has minced no words in faulting the initiative’s co-drivers — President Uhuru Kenyatta and his ‘Handshake’ partner Raila Odinga -— and their lieutenants. 

According to Ruto, BBI is nothing but a lopsided priority and a waste of precious time and resources.

At some point, he even dared to “stop the BBI reggae”, accusing some of its promoters as enemies of his presidential ambitions for next year.

Therefore, it did not surprise when Ruto led millions of Kenyans in celebrating the judgement by a five-judge High Court bench that sought to stop the BBI process. For him it was a vindication of some sort.

On May 13 at 11:54am, he tweeted: “There is GOD in heaven who loves kenya immeasurably.

May GOD’S name be PRAISED forever.” The tweet has attracted tens of thousands of Likes and Retweets on Twitter by the time of penning this article.

The Deputy President further rightly stated that our democracy is anchored on the rule of law, constitutionalism, separation of powers and respect for independent institutions and that all patriotic citizens must defend these tenets, just like the Judiciary did.   

A stranger in local politics would be forgiven for taking Ruto for a godsend presidential aspirant for which Kenya would face the wrath of God if they reject him.

With due respect, the second-in-command he is not what he wants people to take him for…a story for another day. 

Before Ruto seeks Kenyans’ approval for his remarks on BBI stoppage, does he believe in the virtues he listed above? No.

His utterances in the countdown, during and after the presidential elections of 2013 and 2017 bear me witness he does not mean what he says about rule of law and respect for the Judiciary and independent institutions. 

His past records of confrontations with individuals, lobby groups or institutions he perceives as against his political ambitions, speak quite the contrary. 

Thus, his reactions to last week’s ruling paints Ruto as a man who shouts Hallelujah! when the courts seem to support what he believes in and curses them when rulings aren’t in his favour. That isn’t the spirit of rule of law or respect for institutions.

In a democracy, divergent views are healthy. As one of those who had read the BBI Bill, I was looking forward to vote for it during the referendum.

This is because the document had good proposals meant to unify our country and improve our living standards. 

However, as Ruto and his team celebrate, let them realise millions of Kenyans still believe, though the document isn’t perfect, it has a lot to benefit the nation.

But because the High Court has stopped the process, we respect the judgement even though we do not agree with it.

We hope more proponents and promoters of BBI will join the Attorney General in appealing the ruling. — The writer comments on topical social issues

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