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Tangatanga MPs make about-turn on plans for parallel BBI rallies

By Roselyne Obala | February 1st 2020

Jubilee MPs and senators allied to Deputy President William Ruto at a press conference at the end of their retreat in Naivasha. The leaders announced plans to hold separate BBI rallies, starting with Nakuru next month. [Antony Gitonga, Standard]

MPs allied to Deputy President William Ruto yesterday appeared to backpedal from their weekend announcement to hold parallel Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) public rallies.

The legislators declared they will attend all rallies already scheduled and announced by the Pro-BBI brigade spearheaded by President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition leader Raila Odinga.

Nine leaders led by Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen (Elgeyo/Marakwet) affirmed their intention to abandon the rebellious route.

“We will not and we do not intend to have parallel rallies. We hereby confirm on behalf our colleagues that we will attend all rallies already scheduled and announced,” said Murkomen at Parliament Buildings yesterday.

Also at the meeting were National Assembly Majority Whip Ben Washiali (Mumias East) and his Budget and Appropriation committee chairman Kimani Ichungwa among others.

Speaking separately yesterday, Ruto repeated his calls not to make the BBI discussions about political positions at the expense of needs of Kenyans. 

He said it would be selfish for politicians to focus on the needs of a few while ignoring the needs of millions of Kenyans. 

“We must have a balanced debate; it cannot be about leaders and positions. It must also be about ordinary people, their challenges and opportunities,” he said.

The DP was speaking at Chania Girls High School in Thika, Kiambu County, during the institution’s thanksgiving day.

The about-turn by the MPs comes at a time plans are underway to de-whip them from the parliamentary leadership position.

“There is no better organiser of the BBI rallies than the other. We want every leader given equal opportunity to express their views, divergent or otherwise,” Murkomen said.

“For this reason, we invite all leaders, including all party leaders and the BBI steering committee led by Garissa Senator Yusuf Haji, to these events.”

The lawmakers committed to ensuring the meetings are held in a bipartisan manner while respecting the divergent views and varying political allegiances of all leaders and participants.

“Our focus is Kenya and the things that are dear to mwananchi. We make an earnest request for the secretariat to capture the views expressed by the public,” Murkomen said.

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