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Rift Valley restive as counties begin BBI consultative meetings

By Standard Team | March 6th 2020 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

Nelson Gaichuhie the Chief Administrative Secretary for The National Treasury and Planning, Chief Administrative Secretary for Industrialization and Trade Lawrence Karanja (center) with Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui during Nakuru BBI Consultative Forum that was held in Nakuru ASK Showground on March 5, 2020. Leaders have warned those planning to disrupt forthcoming BBI rally in Nakuru. [Harun Wathari, Standard]

Rift Valley leaders have started holding consultative meetings in preparation for the March 21 Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) rally in Nakuru.

The meetings are meant to come up with proposals for a joint memorandum to be presented during the rally.

The leaders are however divided on how the rally, which will be held at Afraha Stadium, should be conducted.

Interviews with some of the leaders point to a situation where the region is divided over who should receive its memorandum; President Uhuru Kenyatta or ODM leader Raila Odinga.

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A number of the leaders yesterday gave one of the meetings arranged by former Molo MP Njenga Mungai a wide berth.

Only MPs David Gikaria (Nakuru Town East) Samuel Arama (Nakuru Town West) and Kuria Kimani (Molo) attended the forum at Nakuru show ground.

They were joined by Treasury Chief Administrative Secretary Nelson Gaichuhie, Nakuru Speaker Joel Kairu, former MPs Joseph Kiuna and Koigi Wamwere.

Governor Lee Kinyanjui has taken up the role of negotiating a common ground on who should receive the memorandum from the 10 Rift Valley counties on March 21.

Different opinions

"I have heard people talking about no one can stop reggae as far as BBI is concerned," said Mr Kinyanjui. "I want to assure you in the BBI document, there is no word like reggae."

His sentiments were echoed by Mr Gikaria who said there was need for dialogue on unity to ensure more bridges are built between camps with different opinions.

Mr Arama, whose support for BBI is consistent, said other counties must recognise Nakuru’s cosmopolitan nature and its sensitivity to careless political statements.

In Kericho, leaders demanded that Uhuru explains the role of Raila in the BBI rallies, saying Raila had turned the forums into political rallies. 

Kericho Governor Paul Chepkwony said he has appointed a committee to plan the county’s BBI consultative meeting next week.

In the North Rift, Soy MP Caleb Kositany said a programme is in place to collect views from residents of Uasin Gishu ahead of the Nakuru forum.

In Turkana, a BBI consultative meeting was convened on Wednesday afternoon where local leaders vouched for the creation of two deputy president slots to enhance inclusivity.

BBI Rift Valley leaders Raila Odinga Uhuru Kenyatta
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