Senate Majority Leader Kichumba Murkomen has said the elected leaders allied to Deputy President William Ruto meeting in Naivasha is not meant to respond to President Uhuru Kenyatta’s recent remarks, but to discuss the Building Bridges Initiative(BBI) report.
Murkomen told a press conference at the Lake Naivasha Resort ahead of the meeting that the over 80 elected leaders main agenda is to deliberate on the report.
"We fully respect the President and as juniors, we shall not answer back, but study the BBI report before coming up with a way forward for the region," said Murkomen who is the convener of the meeting.
Murkomen said the meeting was for the benefit of the Rift Valley residents who face myriad of challenges including poor prices of agricultural commodities, floods and settlement issues among others.
He was responding reports indicating that the meeting was meant to discuss President Uhuru’s remarks
President Uhuru on Wednesday told off political leaders opposed to the BBI report.
Admitting that his was angry, Uhuru said people think he knows nothing when he keeps quiet.
The President who spoke in the Kikuyu dialect, appeared to be responding to 57 MPs who met in Embu and took a position on the report on behalf of the region.
He spoke in Gatundu North, Kiambu county, when he presided over the official handover ceremony of Mang’u Dispensary Outpatient Block.
The Elgeyo Marakwet Senator downplayed the absence of some MPs from KANU, noting that over 80 elected legislators and governors from the region had confirmed attending.
The senator added that other issues that the meeting would address include insecurity mainly in North Rift and the poor prices of farm produce.
"We shall also discuss the recent tragedy that befell our brothers and sisters in West Pokot among other issues currently affecting Rift Valley," he said.
On his part, the chairman of the caucus Kimani Ngunjiri said they were keen to understand the report before passing the information to the electorate.
"The President told us to read and understand the report and that is what were are doing here in Naivasha," he said.
The Bahati MP said they expected to release a comprehensive report which would guide the region’s residents at the end of the retreat.
"This is a big day for leaders of Rift Valley and it is not about which political party one comes from but the way forward in terms of the BBI report," he said.
Naivasha MP Jane Kihara said they would use the meeting to bond as many of them did not know each other.
Kihara said they needed to get the finer details from the report before making an informed decision.
"The main objective of this meeting is to discuss the report, but we shall also bond and address other issues that are currently bedeviling the region," she said.
A parallel meeting pitting a rival group of Rift Valley leaders will also be taking place in Nairobi’s Maasai Lodge.
The rival faction is led by Cherangany MP Joshua Kutuny and former Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto and comprises former and sitting MPs who have rebelled against DP Ruto.
The meeting is held a few kilometre from Gilgil sub-county where President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to preside over a pass out parade for 10,000 National Youth Service Recruits at the Gilgil Training College.
Leaders present include Senator Aaron Cheruyot, Woman Rep Gladys Shollei, MPs Martha Wangari, Ken Arama, William Cheptumo among others.