More changes needed in BBI before referendum, says Wetangula

Ford-Kenya leaders (from left) Ferdinand Wanyonyi, Party Leader Moses Wetangula and Richard Onyonka addressing the media after a BBI signature collection drive in Nairobi. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

Ford Kenya party leader Moses Wetangula has asked President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga to revisit the issue of representation in the proposed constitutional changes.

Speaking at the party’s headquarters in Nairobi, Wetangula said there was still room to make changes to the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report to ensure fairness on the issue of representation.

The Bungoma Senator said the final BBI report had failed to address the issue of representation by giving some undeserving regions more constituencies while the underrepresented places were left out.

“A place like Bungoma County deserves four constituencies, not three. Some regions also like North Eastern have not been given a fair share,” Wetangula said.

“Since the report has not been presented in any parliament, there is still room to make changes. The issue of representation should be revisited,” he added.

According to the BBI report, Central, Nairobi, Coast and Rift Valley will take the biggest chunk of the new 70 constituencies.

Rift Valley will have 23 new constituencies, Nairobi will get 12, and Central will have 11 while Coast will secure 10.

Despite the changes the party is pushing, Wetangula declared support for BBI saying the coming referendum was a historic moment that Ford-Kenya has played a role.

“We sat after the unveiling of the report at Bomas and we were involved in the decision that struck out the changes on the IEBC (Independent Boundaries and Electoral Commission),” Wetangula said.

The previous report proposed to have parties involved in the appointment of IEBC commissioners. The proposal has been removed in the latest edition.

Wetangula also lashed out at the dissenting voices saying they were focusing on the timing of the referendum rather than the issues in the document.

“Those who are still unsure should know that you cannot get everything you want,” he stated.

DP William Ruto has not declared his stand on the BBI, a move that has attracted criticism from political forces including ANC party leader Musalia Mudavadi who accused Ruto of taking Kenyans in circles.

However, Wetangula said he was not making direct reference to Ruto noting that the DP had a right to take any position on the matter.

“It is not my duty to impose my views on other people. It is their right to take any position,” Wetangula responded when asked whether he was referring to Ruto.

He said his party will traverse the country to drum up support for BBI saying Ford-Kenya was not aligning itself to any other party.