Uphill task for governor leading BBI rallies in Rift

President Uhuru Kenyatta with Governor Lee Kinyanjui in Nakuru last week. The governor will be leading BBI rallies in the region. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

A timetable for Building Bridges Initiative meetings in Nakuru will be released in the next two weeks, Governor Lee Kinyajui has said.

Speaking to The Standard yesterday, the Nakuru governor said plans are on to conduct grass-root meetings to inform the public on contents of the BBI report.

The governor, who is the only county chief from the region to publicly declare support for the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI), said he was in close contact with the BBI Committee.

“We are working with the team for national mapping. BBI seeks to be Wanjiku-driven. For the Suswa meeting in Narok County slated for February 17, we are fully engaged. We shall work with all elected leaders who  support BBI,” said Kinyanjui.

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Kinyanjui's comments come days after President Uhuru Kenyatta held a meeting with local leaders at his Gicheha farm in Nakuru last week.

The four-hour meeting brought together some 300 leaders and businessmen from Nakuru County.

During the meeting, Uhuru is said to have outlined his political plan, which will no longer involve renegade Jubilee MPs.

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Some of the politicians who attended the meeting also alluded to Kinyanjui having been selected to spearhead the BBI sensitisation campaigns in the South Rift region.

"The president called for support for the BBI. Governor Kinyanjui, being the senior most leader in attendance, was picked to lead in the region. The first meeting will be at Suswa as we wait for him (Kinyanjui) to organise one in the county," said one leader.

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Selling the BBI to Nakuru residents will, however, not be an easy task as good number of politicians from the area are perceived to be allies of Deputy President William Ruto and opponents of the initiative.

They include Jayne Kihara (Naivasha), David Gikaria (Nakuru Town East), Moses Cheboi (Kuresoi North), Joseph Tanui (Kuresoi South), Kuria Kimani (Molo), Charity Kathambi (Njoro) and Kimani Ngunjiri (Bahati). Others are Woman Representative Liza Chelule and Senator Susan Kihika.

Vocal supporters

This leaves Governor Kinyanjui with MPs Samuel Arama (Nakuru Town West) and Raymond Moi (Rongai) as the only vocal supporters of BBI while Martha Wangari (Gilgil) and Samuel Gachobe (Subukia) are perceived to be neutral.

Kinyanjui will, however, have the backing of elders and a handful of former politicians seeking to make a comeback to the political scene after meeting the president at his Gicheha farm home.

Led by former Molo MP Njenga Mungai, the Gicheha delegation declared its support for the BBI and pledged to rally support for the same.

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“We as Rift Valley residents understand better where our shoe bites. We see peace, tolerance and a sustained economic development through the BBI,” said Mungai.

Nakuru has been pivotal in Uhuru’s administration since 2013 when the Jubilee Alliance was formed at Afraha Stadium.

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