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Ruto under fire as Uhuru allies show support for BBI

By Allan Mungai and Jacinta Mutura | Oct 19th 2020 | 4 min read
By Allan Mungai and Jacinta Mutura | October 19th 2020

Jubilee and ODM leaders allied to President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga have accused politicians opposed to the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report of dishonesty.

Speaking yesterday in Huruma, Mathare Constituency, some 10 MPs from Nairobi accused Deputy President William Ruto of starting a class war and dividing the country. But speaking separately in Mt Kenya, Ruto rallied residents against BBI in preference for his hustler movement.

The Nairobi leaders who spoke in Huruma are Nominated MP Maina Kamanda, Anthony Oluoch (Mathare), Tim Wanyonyi (Westlands), Esther Passaris (Nairobi) Babu Owino (Embakasi East), George Aladwa (Makadara), Mercy Gakuya (Kasarani), Imran Okoth (Kibra) and Waihenya Ndirangu (Roysambu).

Giving the analogy of a woman in labour, the MPs said the BBI document was President Kenyatta’s and Raila’s child and they (the MPs) were midwifing it.

They said those opposed to the BBI were dishonest since they had not seen the document but were already opposed to it. “Even if BBI is born with imperfections, it is still our baby no matter what,” Passaris said.

Mr Wanyonyi denied claims that the document’s intention was to create positions. Rather, he said, the goal was to make the country more tolerant and inclusive.

“BBI is about creating a law for posterity, it is not about creating positions for two people. We want to make this country stable for investors,” Wanyonyi said.

The leaders criticised DP Ruto for his “Hustler Nation” movement, describing his donations of wheelbarrows and handcarts to the youth as disrespectful.

Mr Kamanda said Ruto was stoking a class war by attempting to divide the country into the poor and the rich.

“Kenya is a united country and we will not tolerate anyone who tries to divide us into the poor versus the rich,” he said.

He also touched on the subject of the Kikuyu elders who visited Raila at his home in Bondo, two weeks ago.

The MP, who accompanied the elders led by Wachira wa Kiago to pay homage to Raila, dismissed claims that the group that visited Raila was not the bonafide Kikuyu Council of Elders.

“Wachira wa Kiago has been meeting with other elders for over a year but some people are dismissing him. Kiago has taken his stand, take yours too,” Kamanda said.

He also said that Ruto’s support in Mt Kenya was an illusion. “You cannot convince yourself that you have the support of Mt Kenya because there is still some time to the election. I will take my candidate and we will go to Mt Kenya in 2022 and you will realise you have no support there,” he said.

The BBI rallies come after Raila said in Bondo on Friday that the document was ready and even revealed that it could be released this week.

Mr Oluoch said they would not relent in drumming up support for the initiative.

“We want to ask Uhuru and Raila to release the document today,” he said.

He added that those who were opposed to it were misguiding the public.?

Mr Okoth? took offence with the donation of wheelbarrows, insisting it was unfair to the youth who were targeted.

“We saw in Manyani that other youth are innovating and even manufacturing guns, yet Ruto wants to come here with wheelbarrows. If you get the wheelbarrows take them but sell them and keep the money,” he said.

Ruto spent his weekend touring Mt Kenya region with a group of his followers rallying Kenyans against the BBI initiative.

Speaking in Embu, the DP said politicians mix up their priorities. “Even as we deal with other agenda we must not be selfish on political leadership. We must think about other people and how we will improve their lives and their children’s,” said Ruto.

He dismissed critics of his ‘Hustler Movement’, saying his strategy aims to uplift small businesses.

“There are people who are complaining that a person of my calibre is talking of small business people. I am the deputy president now but I was a roadside chicken seller. It is possible to have the small businesses grow to large enterprises,” said the DP.

“We have spoken about political leaders for a long time and it's time we start from the lowly going up. I am not drunk or stupid when I say we will no longer be speaking of political positions. We are talking about the people.”

He apologised for the Murang’a incident where police officers hurled tear gas canisters inside African Independent Pentecostal Church of Africa (AIPCA), saying it was disrespectful to the church. 

“It was so shameful but we know those who gave instructions to police are in Nairobi. They are drunk with power,” said Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua.

Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichungwa joined in attacking the State directive to stop 2022 campaigns.

“Those of us in Tangatanga have been accused of early campaigns when we go to visit the DP in Sugoi or Karen but no one complains when others go to Bondo,” said Ichungwa. 

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