Let’s guard BBI from claws of selfish leaders, says DP

Deputy President William Ruto speaking at St Joseph Catholic Church in Kandara, Murang’a. [Boniface Gikandi/Standard]
Any constitutional change must reflect the economic concerns of the people, Deputy President William Ruto has said. 

Speaking yesterday in Kandara, Murang’a County, Dr Ruto emphasised that the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) must not be hijacked to fulfil the wishes of a few selfish individuals.

“The BBI engagements will help the country move forward,” said Ruto.

“What we are against is a few people hijacking the reform process for their own self interests.”

He called on leaders to demonstrate discipline and be committed to serving the people.

At the same time, Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen said Jubilee Party members would go to Meru on February 29 to engage the public on the BBI report.

Mr Murkomen said leaders should concentrate on improving the livelihoods of the people they represent, and stop pushing for the creation of additional political slots.

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“A conversation to unite Kenyans should be honest. It should be designed to address issues such as tea, coffee and milk prices. This is what we should tackle through constitutional reforms,” said Murkomen. Murang’a Woman Representative Sabina Chege said Mt Kenya leaders should be united as they approach constitutional reforms. “I’m happy that many leaders are supporting BBI. The support should be geared towards uniting our people,” said Ms Chege.

MPs present included host Alice Wahome, Rigathi Gachagua (Mathira), Ndindi Nyoro (Kiharu), Moses Kuria (Gatundu South) and Kimani Ichungw’a (Kikuyu).

They said they would support a farmers’ initiative dubbed the Minimum Guaranteed Returns (MGR) that would save farmers from exploitation by middlemen.

Mr Nyoro said he was working on a MGR Bill that will ensure farmers earn maximum profits from their harvests.

“Such a Bill is what should be contained in the BBI. Farmers should be confident that their produce will reap good returns in the market,” said Nyoro.

Mr Gachagua said Mt Kenya residents want to know how BBI will ensure that their milk trades at Sh60 per litre, coffee at Sh150 per kilogramme, and tea at Sh100 a kilogramme.

Mr Ichungw’a said unemployment was a major problem facing the youth.

The government, he said, should provide youth with a monthly stipend to help them pay for their upkeep as they look for jobs.

Mr Kuria said leaders should learn from former President Daniel Arap Moi who mentored many successful politicians.

“In Mt Kenya region there is a trend where upcoming politicians are harassed instead of being mentored,”said Kuria.

Energy Principal Secretary Andrew Njoroge and Kiambu County Assembly Speaker Stephen Ndichu were also present.

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constitutional changeDP William RutoBBI