ANC party leader Musalia Mudavadi and his Ford-Kenya counterpart Moses Wetang’ula have raised concerns over the manner in which the Building Bridges Initiative report is being implemented.
Speaking during the 13th Butsotso Cultural Festival at Ikonyero Secondary School in Lurambi yesterday, Mr Wetang’ula said implementation of the BBI report risked being scuttled if the proposals would not have been achieved in the first quarter of the year.
“I wish to urge President Uhuru Kenyatta and his partner in BBI, Raila Odinga, to ensure the report is acted upon early enough to avoid a situation where it could be overrun by 2022 succession politics,” said Wetang’ula.
According to Wetang’ula, whatever recommendations that will have been made, including amending the Constitution or holding a referendum, must be done within the first three months of 2020.
While agreeing that the BBI was a positive step towards ending the animosity experienced in Kenya every electioneering period and enhancing national cohesion, the Bungoma senator said Kenyans would not wish to see the process turned into a roller-coaster without proper timelines.
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Clear loss of focus
At the same time, Mudavadi, in a statement, said debate around the BBI report had taken off on a wrong footing, as focus had shifted to creation of new positions in the Executive and salaries for the new office bearers, with specific individuals in mind.
“This is clear loss of focus and direction; we should not restructure the Executive to address the appetite of certain individuals for positions. If we have to do it, let it be for the greater good of the citizens’ welfare,” said Mudavadi.
He said citizens ought to be at the centre stage of all conversations and debates in 2020, including the BBI.
On the planned January 18 “Bukhungu II” forum pushing for Luhya unity, Wetang’ula said the community did not require external forces to be brought together.
He said the Western region had been united during the National Rainbow Alliance Coalition and rallied behind the late Vice President Wamalwa Kijana to deliver all the elective seats in the region to NARC, save for Nambale’s, which went to Kanu.
Wetang’ula urged the people of the former Western Province to jealously guard their political territory and not entertain political losers to be used to cause confusion among them, through self-appointed leaders who want to label themselves as the community’s spokespersons.
Further, the senator urged ODM leader Raila Odinga to give his unwavering support to the candidate the Luhya community would front.
“We have supported others before, and the fact that Raila’s election was stolen doesn’t mean that Western didn’t vote for him.” Also at the cultural event were Ikolomani MP Bernard Shinali and host Titus Khamala.
Mr Shinali disclosed that leaders from the Western region would soon hold a meeting to make a major announcement.
“I can guarantee you that we are talking, and as your leaders we have vowed to stick together and give you direction,” said Shinali.