President Uhuru condemns ‘unfortunate’ division over BBI

President Uhuru Kenyatta addressing the nation from State House, Mombasa on Tuesday 14.01.2020. [Photo Courtesy]

President Uhuru Kenyatta says he finds rift by politicians over the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) unfortunate and contrary to its objective of unifying the country.

“I find it very unfortunate in the process of unifying Kenya, people feel they are being left out,” he said after being asked for a comment on the division caused by the BBI.

Over the weekend Deputy President Wiliam Ruto tore into the jump-starting of the initiative in Kisii County where ODM leader Raila led a high powered group comprising some governors in suggesting the way forward.

Dr Ruto said the second phase of the BBI had caused confusion in Jubilee and killed the Opposition and the Big Four Agenda adding that the initiative will be rejected if it is about creating positions for some people (read Raila Odinga).

The president was addressing the nation from State House, Mombasa on Tuesday.

Since BBI was launched in November, there has been a heated debate across the political divide with a faction of leaders, some within the ruling Jubilee Party opposing the initiative.

It has been criticised mainly by the TangaTanga brigade, a section of leaders aligned to Deputy President William Ruto, that opines that BBI is aimed at creating positions for power-thirsty individuals in government.

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President Uhuru, however, refuted the narrative today saying that the initiative is aiming at enhancing better governance.

“BBI is not about creating positions. We are talking about how we are going to deal with corruption, youth unemployment and equity so that after every election we do not have to fight each other,” said Uhuru.

President Uhuru affirmed his stand on BBI since its launch saying that his primary objective in the remaining part of his term is to unify Kenya.

The document was officially launched on November 27, 2019.

Kenyans were given a month to read the 156-page document and make an informed opinion before giving their recommendations.

A month later, a series of BBI regional forums have been launched to steer the country towards the Constitution amendments.

The first forum, which received a lot of criticism from anti-BBI brigade happened in Kisii last week. It was led by ODM party leader Raila Odinga and Interior CS Fred Matiangí.

DP Ruto termed the meeting as an avenue for the 2022 elections campaign at the same time accusing the government of squandering public resources. 

He claimed that Raila Odinga had hijacked the BBI to further his quest for the presidency

“What we witnessed in Kisii was not a campaign for the BBI report but a revival of ODM’s 2022 presidential strategy,” said Ruto.

The BBI was a kindled by the surprise historic handshake between the then election rivals, Raila Odinga and President Uhuru Kenyatta.

The rapprochement between Uhuru and Raila stopped the duo’s animus that followed the 2017 election.

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BBI DivisionPresident Uhuru KenyattaRaila OdingaDP William Ruto