Nyando MP Jared Okello has dismissed a letter written to President Uhuru Kenyatta by Senate Majority Whip Irungu Kan’ata seeking to advise him over the fate of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) in Mt Kenya region.
Speaking to Standard Digital over the phone, the ODM legislator told Kang’ata to keep his purported political advice, saying President Uhuru is a seasoned politician who doesn’t need such advice from the senator.
“President Uhuru has been a Member of Parliament, Cabinet minister, Deputy Prime Minister and now President and has received unwavering support from his people without Hon Kang'ata and understands his backyard better than Kang’ata,” he said.
The soft-spoken MP said contrary to Kang’ata’s anti-BBI opinion, President Uhuru has proved on many occasions that the report is his project and he is ready to deliver it before 2022.
He cited the 5 million signatures submitted to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) in under a week when only a million signatures were needed as a sign that President Uhuru and ODM leader Raila Odinga were committed to pushing forward the process.
It is surprising when you hear people like Kanga’ta claim BBI lacks support in Mt Kenya when the same region enlisted 793, 135 in a record seven days,” said Okello.
The MP described the Murang’a senator as fence-sitter who has never believed in the BBI process after he said the report will fail flat if the Senate failed to adopt the one-man-one-shilling formula during the county revenue stalemate in the Senate.
He urged President Uhuru to ignore the unsolicited advice from people who have never supported the planned constitutional amendment meant to unite the country and work towards achieving his agenda.
“Kang'ata’s utterances during the division of revenue debate in October and now show he has never supported or believed in the BBI hence the President should ignore him.”
The MP wondered how a letter meant to President Uhuru could have leaked to the public, saying there was more than meet the eye in the Majority Whip’s action.
He claimed at the time Kang’ata released the so-called advisory letter to President, his close ally nominated Senator Isaac Mwaura was decamping to Tangatanga wing of Jubilee, adding that the senator could a mole.
“I don't understand how coincidental it was, that as the private letter to the President was released to the public, at the same time Kang’ata’s close buddy, Senator Mwaura was defecting to Tangatanga wing,” he said.
Okello said it was the work of the senator to market BBI in Central Kenya region if it was unpopular and not to tell President Uhuru how his pet project was bound to fail.
“He was elected Majority Whip in the Senate to help President Uhuru both in the country and Mt Kenya region. Let him market BBI or resign from the position, added Okello.
Benefits of BBI
He said if it passes, BBI will give fresh graduates a four-year moratorium before they start paying back their study loans.
The MP said Mt Kenya region stand to gain more with 29 new constituencies at home and in the diaspora should the report be adopted through a referendum.
The legislator said the region can use their numerical strength in the National Assembly to get the premier position in the new dispensation
Kang’ata in his leaked letter had warned President Uhuru of how unpopular BBI was in the Central Kenya region.
Kang’ata also pointed out that only two in ten people in Central Kenya support the BBI report adding that his finding was based on his own personal observations during the Christmas and the New Year holidays.
The letter has sparked mixed reactions across the political divide, with a section of Central Kenya leaders allied to Deputy President Wiliam Ruto saying that they had been vindicated.
But the Governors from the region told the Senator off and faulted the channel he used in writing a letter directly to the president.