Face-off ahead as Ruto allies plot for more clout on BBI

Jubilee leaders led by Senate Majority leader Kipchumba Murkomen (second left) and National Assembly Chief Whip Benjamin Washiali (right) address the Press on BBI meetings at Serena Hotel, Nairobi, on Tuesday. [Boniface Okendo,Standard]
Deputy President William Ruto’s elaborate plans for more say in the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) debate demonstrates the high stakes in the report.

A document seen by the Saturday Standard, lays bare the strategy Ruto and his team plan to use to control the BBI narrative and they believe ODM leader Raila Odinga and organisers of the Kisii and Kakamega BBI meetings handed them a golden opportunity to reach out to Kenyans.

The DP allies are seeking greater control of the remaining BBI meetings after the Mombasa rally.

The strategy paper by one of the Ruto think-tanks notes that after the Kisii and Kakamega rallies, Raila’s team would have covered much of their strongholds and would now move to regions where Tangatanga has following.

SEE ALSO :DP Ruto calls for truce to end Jubilee wars

Focus on unity

On Tuesday, 30 MPs allied to the DP held a closed door meeting where they adopted the strategy paper and declared that they would join the BBI rally in Mombasa to foster inclusivity in the country.

The Mombasa meeting which has now moved from Tononoka to Mama Ngina Waterfront grounds, will be the third BBI rally. 

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“I would like to welcome all leaders to the BBI meeting in Mombasa this Saturday. We shall be focusing on the unity and development of this country and not sideshows about 2022 and discussing individuals,” Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen said after the meeting.

Mr Murkomen said Ruto allies will be participating in all public meetings on BBI.

SEE ALSO :Governor Mutua says Ruto, Murkomen, Duale want to fix him, records statement

He also said they will inform the public why they support the report.

The document asks the lieutenants to ‘keep off’ politics that characteristed the Kisii and Kakamega rallies.

Instead, they will address six issues; the collapsing economy of Mombasa occasioned by the order to transport goods on Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) and land issues among others.

Pokot South MP David Pkosing said they will observe decorum in Mombasa and avoid war of words.

“BBI is about bringing people together, we want to lead by example by joining the rest of Kenyans in Mombasa, we will stick to the report,” said Mr Pkosing.

SEE ALSO :Murkomen, Duale respond to Gov. Mutua life threat statement

Murkomen, through his social media handle, claimed he had received reports that he will be denied a seat or be heckled should he address the meeting.

But he vowed to attend the BBI meeting for the sake of uniting the country.

Perhaps unbeknown to Raila team is that Ruto’s allies are working on a bigger strategy.

Execution

After the Mombasa meeting the DP allies believe they will be in control of the meetings in Garissa, Embu, Meru, Nakuru, Suswa, Kiambu and Eldoret.

SEE ALSO :Ruto threatened me, claims Mutua

“They will realise that starting the game is not finishing, in the meeting in regions where we control we will not take advantage but explain to the people what the report says, we will avoid the shenanigan politics that we saw in Kisii and Kakamega,” said Pkosing. 

In Garissa, National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale is expected to take charge of the BBI rally.

MPs and friendly governors from the respective counties will seek to have a big role in the planning and execution of the meetings.

“This will ensure the narrative of us against them will have been exterminated, and the BBI report debate is kept sane,” reads part of the document.

Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria has warned that should they feel excluded in the BBI process and rallies, then they will lead separate meetings across the country and dub them BBI roho safi.

“If they mistreat us we will go ahead and start our nationwide tours as well and ours will be about real BBI report and not petty politics,” said Mr Kuria.

He urged President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila to publish the calendar for the BBI meetings.

“And this is my message to Haji, and the two principals, let us stop the side shows. We are supporting the BBI process. Publish the calendar, publish the schedule,” said Kuria.

Meanwhile, Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka is expected in Mombasa today.

The party said they would take part in the Saturday meeting, adding that Kalonzo did not attend previous BBI meetings due to commitments.

“Mr Musyoka will be accompanied by several MPs and MCAs from his Wiper Party, who have also been drumming up support for the initiative in various parts of the country,” read the statement in part.

Ruto has been reaching out to Wiper leaders and plans to attend the lower eastern BBI meeting in February.

An MP from Mt Kenya said they will not allow the narrative that had been going on in Kisii and Kakamega to continue in the region.

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William RutoBuilding Bridges InitiativeSuccession politics