Jubilee Party Deputy Secretary-General Caleb Kositany has defended his colleagues for snubbing the launch of Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report saying they never received an invitation for the event.
Speaking to KTN News, the Soy MP, who is an ally of Deputy President William Ruto, claimed the organisers of the event overlooked them and never sent even a single one of them an invitation.
“I did not receive an invitation to Bomas of Kenya,” he said. He then proceeded to exude confidence that DP Ruto’s address at the Bomas of Kenya conference aired all their concerns, hence, they were satisfied even after watching the events pan from the sidelines.
“We were represented by the deputy president. The MPs were to receive invites from the office of the Leader of Majority Amos Kimunya but only some selected few members got the invitation," said Kositany.
Of all the filled seats at the Monday day-long event at Bomas in Nairobi, only one legislator drawn from the pro-DP Ruto Tangatanga faction attended the event. That was Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria who Mr Kositany said did not receive an invite but opted to attend the event.
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The Soy legislator went ahead and lamented the incident in which Ruto had to contend with jeers at the conference as he made his reservations about the proposed amendments by the BBI.
He said, “It raises a lot of concern on the calibre of those who were invited for the event. It seems they were briefed on what to do.”
Just hours after Ruto put a strong case against the document, the Jubilee official joined his school of thought showering him with praises for raising salient issues that common Kenyans want to be addressed.
The Deputy President raised a number of concerns on the proposals leaving them hanging in questions but making it public that he had contrary opinions.
For instance, Ruto said the winner-take-it all problem had not been solved by the creation of Prime Minister posts and two deputies, who are to be appointed by the President from the majority in the Parliament.
In reference to this, Mr Kositany concurred with the DP’s sentiment that the report was hurriedly constituted to satisfy the appetite of certain few unnamed people by rewarding them with seats.
“The BBI was hurriedly made to create positions and that is what it did...it was a premeditated initiative to create positions,” he told KTN News on Tuesday morning.
Yesterday, the DP also faulted the institution of the office of Ombudsman at the Judicial Service Commission, who is to be appointed by the President. According to Ruto, such a move would amount to interference with the independence of the Judiciary.
But the Leader of the Majority in the National Assembly Amos Kimunya expressed a contrary view, that since the Ombudsman would check on excesses of the Judiciary; the Chief Justice being the leader of that arm of government cannot appoint him or her.
Kimunya told KTN News on Tuesday morning that the BBI contemplated that the President would be a neutral authority to appoint the ombudsman to limit potential compromise if such a person is appointed by the Chief Justice.
Also in his address, the DP faulted the proposal to allow political parties to select commissioners of the IEBC saying the step would water down electoral integrity.
“How fair will there be a league where the referee is appointed by a team, and not only a team, but teams. If you persuade me that you’ll have a fair game? Fine. You have heard me, I have heard you, do you think that’s fair? We will have a middle ground,” the DP said.
The DP would then side with ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi that the document rendered Senate toothless by clipping its powers in handling devolution matters.
“If you are saying women are going to the Senate whose functions are downgraded, are you enhancing or downgrading the participation of women?” he posed.
With the future of the report not yet determined, Mr Kositany called for the issues raised by the DP to be addressed before taking the document to Parliament.
“It should not land at the door of Parliament before the matters raised by the DP are addressed,” he said. He said the legislative proposals could be handled at Parliament level while other areas can be subjected to a referendum.
This stand contradicts that of President Uhuru Kenyatta who proposed that the document should be taken to a referendum vote wholesomely, and if it passes then it should be adopted as a package.