Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen [Photo: John Muchucha]

Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen has defended his outburst at the Building Bridges Initiative launch at the Bomas of Kenya

Murkomen was shouted down at some point during the Wednesday event when he claimed the manner in which it was organised was biased.

He claimed the organisers had given only members of the Kieleweke group a chance to speak, yet the forum was meant to unite everyone.

Kieleweke is one faction of the Jubilee Party that supports the handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga. The other is Tangatanga team which is allied to the deputy president and does not support the Uhuru-Raila deal.

“Even before I spoke as the Leader of Majority in the Senate, I was already feeling the conversation didn’t represent the wider communities across the country,” Murkomen said.

He criticised the organisers of the event in the full glare of the media, the diplomatic community, foreign dignitaries and multi-sectoral guests.

“Your Excellency, we must have an honest discussion here. Junet Mohammed (Suna East MP), I'll be lying if I left this stage without saying that this programme has been skewed to leave out people with different opinions...,” lamented Murkomen immediately he took to the podium. Junet Mohammed was the MC.

He went on: “And so whether Junet..., Your Excellency, we must say it as it as it is. If we are going to build an honest Kenya… Your Excellency, we must be able to put our views forth.”

It took the intervention of chair of the BBI team, Garissa Senator Yusuf Haji, to calm down the charged crowd, urging them to respect the President.

Murkomen, however, remains unapologetic.

Speaking on Ktn News on Wednesday, Murkomen faulted the choice of MC at the event and other speakers.

“Unfortunately, a person who doesn’t have the capacity and the ability to preside over such a function as an MC was chosen without an explanation...,” he said.

He added: “An opportunity was granted to my friend Junet who instead of taking advantage of that opportunity to rise above parochial politics and to run the programme as a national event converted it into be a partisan occasion.”

When asked for comment yesterday, Murkomen said: “The event was choreographed...under the theme of reconciliation through a new Kenya. The old Kenya architects stole the show and instead of inclusivity it was exclusivity.
He questioned the neutrality of the MC.

“The speakers should have been picked from different political sides to ensure it remained a State function. However, it was intended to humiliate those close to the Deputy President.