BBI campaigns don’t mean much as no one opposes it, says Ruto

DP William Ruto joins women in a dance during a meeting at Esibakala primary school grounds in Vihiga county. [DPPS]

A section of leaders led by Deputy President William Ruto have questioned the use of public resources in the hurriedly convened public barazas in the name of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).

The leaders said there was no need for the ongoing political mobilisation as no one was opposed to the initiative.

“What are all these campaigns for? Who do they want to persuade? Is it a way of misusing government resources?” Ruto asked.

The DP said there was no need to use resources on the BBI as the entire country supported it.

“If there are those opposing BBI, let them not hide behind these campaigns. They should come out and say what they are opposed to,” he said.

The DP spoke yesterday in Emuhaya and Tongaren constituencies.

Saying no one has a problem with the BBI, Ruto argued that the report should be implemented and the resources being used channeled to productive activities that would better the lives of Kenyans.

No opposition

“We want to bring an end to all these BBI issues and focus on transformation of our country via the Big Four agenda and Vision 2030,” he said. The DP claimed some leaders were opposed to the BBI recommendations that were launched in Bomas because it did not take into consideration their selfish interests.

“It was made clear by the President that copies should be made available for the people to decide for themselves. Why is it now that it is the leaders who are making decisions for the people?” he asked. “Where do they find the money to campaign for a document that has no opposition?”

He told leaders to exercise honesty and sincerity on matters pertaining to BBI instead of taking Kenyans in circles. “How do you popularise a document that has no opposition? A document that has been embraced by all? We should be honest,” he said. Ruto was accompanied by MPs John Waluke (Sirisia), Didmus Barasa (Kimilili), Mwambu Mabonga (Bumula), Dan Wanyama (Webuye West), Catherine Wambilianga (Bungoma) and former Kanduyi MP Alfred Khangati. The legislators said it was unbelievable that billions of shillings were being wasted on BBI matters yet no one has objected its recommendations.

They said public funds being used on the mobilisation should be channelled to more pressing issues like building hospitals, schools, roads, buying maize from farmers and funding the judiciary. 

“I am shocked today that money is being used on BBI issues that no one has objected. This is strange,” said Mr Wanyama. 

Mr Wanyama said leaders from Western Kenya had requested the government for Sh3 billion to revive Nzoia and Mumias sugar factories respectively.

“We’ve not been given funds to revive the sugar factories, but Sh10 billion is being used on BBI that has no value to the lives of Kenyans,” he said.

Mr Waluke said Chief Justice David Maraga has complained that operations at the courts have come to a halt because of lack of money yet there were funds available for the BBI meant to benefit “a few individuals”.

“We have been told there is no money for development projects yet billions of shillings are being used to popularise the activities of one man, ODM leader Raila Odinga, ahead of 2022 elections,” he said.

The legislators said the handshake has paralysed government development projects, especially the Big Four agenda.

Enough money

Mr Barasa said it was unfair for the government to claim that there was no money for striking teachers and lecturers yet there were ready funds for BBI whose recommendations have been supported by all Kenyans.

“We are being told there is no money for development projects and the ones to pay for striking lecturers but we have enough money for BBI popularization that no one has objected to. This is unfair,” he said.