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Use signature drive to mend more fences

By Megan Anyango | December 1st 2020 at 23:00:00 GMT +0300

The road to a new dispensation seems to have begun on a positive note. What initially looked like a difficult mission, albeit important, is turning out to be an easy ride to the Promised Land.

As the former Prime Minister Raila Odinga rightly noted in a recent interview, the Promised Land is beckoning but it won’t come to us. We have to walk, nay, trek to it.

What is becoming clearer by the day, however, is that the trek might not be as torturous as it was for Israelites of the biblical times.

The Building Bridges Initiative has started achieving what the whole process was set out to: uniting the nation. Reports are already indicating that leaders whom were feared to oppose it have instead become its most enthusiastic campaigners.

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The highest ranking politician to oppose the BBI, has until a few days ago, been the Deputy President William Ruto. But going by his statements at the weekend, the DP seemingly has encountered his Road to Damascus moment.

Another big win for the process is The Service Party announcement that it is joining the team drumming support for the process.

Despite being a "small fish" in the general scheme of national politics, the party leader Mwangi Kiunjuri has a following.

Initially a harsh critic of the BBI, the former Cabinet Secretary is reported to have beaten a hasty retreat, saying he would support the referendum.

Mr Kiunjuri, an ally of the DP, is quoted to have praised proposals in the BBI report for having factored in the interests of Kenyans, such as minimum returns for farmers, equitable distribution of the national resources and non-politicisation of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, hence the need to support it.

In other areas of the country, erstwhile foes are now closing ranks in support of the BBI.

In Nakuru, for instance, reports say Governor Lee Kinyanjui and MPs from the county, who have been critical of the document are now backing it.

We are told that unlike before, when the governor would preside functions with none of the MPs in attendance, he can now enjoy the support of a number of them with some publicly lauding his work. MPs Martha Wangari (Gilgil), Samuel Arama (Nakuru West), David Gikaria (Nakuru West) and Francis Kuria (Molo) joined the county boss at the launch of the signature collection drive last Friday. Wangari and Kuria initially opposed the document.

In Mt Kenya, Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi is persuading those still opposed to BBI to change their stand to cross the bridge.

In the Rift, the BBI is receiving a welcome reception as Chama cha Mashinani party leader Isaac Ruto, Kanu secretary-general Nick Salat, Knut boss Wilson Sossion, Chepalungu’s Gideon Koskei, former Minister Paul Sang, Bomet County Assembly minority leader Andrew Maritim, and National Visions Party director of elections Benard Koros drive the signature collection bus.

In Garissa, the reports point to a similar trajectory as Governor Ali Korane urged residents to support the document since it has addressed most of their concerns.

It is only a matter of time before others join in.

My greatest wish is that, at the end of the day, we will have an uncontested outcome of the referendum and eventually an uncontested country as all Kenyans indicated during the collection of opinions that formed the BBI report.

-Ms Anyango is a social commentator. [email protected]

BBI Referendum BBI Politics
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