Tangatanga joins BBI journey

Legislators led by Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen address the media at a city hotel. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

Allies of Deputy President William Ruto have said they will join the Building Bridges Initiative meetings to fight an alleged scheme to introduce a clandestine report.

At least 20 lawmakers yesterday announced that they would join the team led by Orange Democratic Movement leader Raila Odinga in Mombasa at the weekend for the third Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) public meeting.

The team, led by Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen, also announced they would take charge of some of the BBI meetings, in a statement interpreted to mean spearheading the public gatherings in areas perceived to be their strongholds like Eldoret and other parts of Rift Valley and Central.

The legislators’ meeting, which lasted for close to three hours, raised concerns that Ruto’s camp could end up isolated and locked out of the reform process if they fail to participated in the discussions.

SEE ALSO :Pro-democracy group now supports BBI report

They said this would ultimately work against the DP’s presidential bid.

Sources at the meeting said that the MPs also raised fears about plans to introduce radical changes in the document that was launched at Bomas last year.

“We are concerned with reports of existence of a clandestine BBI steering committee with an underground draft report and bill. To this end we demand that the entire BBI process be driven in an open and transparent manner by the gazetted committee,” said Murkomen.

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Some pro-Uhuru and Raila MPs had on Tuesday revealed a plot to use looming constitutional changes to try to kick out the deputy president accusing him of fighting the president.

“We shall soon announce the calendar of complimentary rallies to reinforce those already published. To these rallies, everybody irrespective of political opinion is invited,” said the statement.

SEE ALSO :Murkomen clashes with ODM leaders over BBI

The rival camp made the U-turn to join the BBI bandwagon, but still went on to take a swipe at the Raila-led team, claiming that the process had been hijacked and was being used to misappropriate public resources.

“Instead of focusing on issues affecting the people, the Kisii and Kakamega rallies focused more on demonising one individual in a manner that contradicts the letter and spirit of the BBI process,” said the Elgeyo Marakwet senator.

They said they are opposed to spending public funds and will use their own money in attending the meetings.

“We are opposed to the use of public funds in the organised BBI rallies unless appropriated by Parliament or county assemblies. Our participation and organisation of BBI rallies shall be through personal contributions,” added the statement.

A schedule of BBI consultative meetings released yesterday indicates that the team will soon start doing two meetings every week after the Kisii and Bukhungu events.

SEE ALSO :Raila: Be ready for BBI vote next year

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Building Bridges InitiativeRaila OdingaKipchumba MurkomenDeputy President William Ruto