Raila: Ruto implementing BBI through the backdoor

Azimio la Umoja leader Raila Odinga (centre) during the Town Hall meeting in Muranga town. [Emmanuel Wanson, Standard]

Azimio leader Raila Odinga on Thursday camped in Murang’a County where he drummed up support for reforms akin to the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) meant to distribute resources to counties.

Speaking in a town hall meeting in Muranga Town, Raila said he was fighting for Kenyans to ensure they get their rights from the government.

He said he was surprised that BBI proposals that were rejected by the Kenya Kwanza leadership were now being implemented.

“The most important decision we made with President Uhuru Kenyatta was to craft the BBI proposals aimed at one vote one shilling,” said the opposition chief.

He added that the Kenya Kwanza leadership had rejected BBI due to personal issues and now they are working on it.

The Azimio Chief was hosted by former Muranga Governor Mwangi wa Iria, former Governors Wycliffe Oparanya (Kakamega) and Nderitu Muriithi (Laikipia).

“These leaders have no idea how to run a government, they collect taxes but they do not pay their obligations; counties have not received their allocations since January, while for the first time in decades, public servants have not been paid their dues on time,” he argued.

Raila noted that even under former President Kenyatta, the government was able to pay its staff and make remittances.

He said the government had failed to address the high cost of living, which is getting out of hand. “The government must bring down the cost of living, implement electoral reforms and expose what happened in the election servers in the last election,” he said.

Raila said the Cherera Four Independent Electoral and Boundaries commissioners must be reinstated. He said he initiated the bipartisan talks that must be held outside of parliament

At the meeting, former Ndaragwa MP Jeremiah Kioni said it was disappointing that the government has failed to honour the pledge it made to Kenyans, and instead continues sweet-talking Azimio MPs to join them. He said Azimio MPs who were defecting to the government should seek a fresh mandate from the electorates or the appointing authorities.

“The government has failed to tame the high rate of unemployment and instead has moved to terrorise the youth in Central on claims they are drunkards,” said Kioni.

Iria, who is also the party leader for Usawa Kwa Wote Party said former President Kenyatta had revived tea, and coffee among other cash crops in the Mt Kenya region which are now faced with serious problems.

“It is time Kenyans came together and raised their concerns through Raila Odinga,” said Iria.

Narc Kenya Party leader Martha Karua said it was unfortunate the government has failed to fulfil its promises to Kenyans and was denying the counties their share of allocation to facilitate delivery of service.

“The government in six months, has collected Sh1.5 trillion and another 670 billion loan sourced from development partners yet nothing has been remitted to the counties since January,” she said.

Karua said Kenyans have the right to speak out on their frustrations. Former Defence Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa said the counties were faced with severe difficulties.

“Muranga Governor Irungu Kang’ata should write to President Ruto alerting him of the myriad of financial problems the governors are going through,” he said.  

The Azimio leaders are expected to proceed to Nyahururu town in Laikipia County for a similar townhall meeting with the locals.