Members of county assembly have lifted the lid on circumstances that led to their rejection of the Building Bridges Initiative Constitutional Amendment Bill 2020.
The MCAs said they did so to spite Senator Gideon Moi, whom they said was an “absentee leader” in the county.
The shooting down of the bill was largely seen as a slap in the face of former President Daniel arap Moi’s son and political scion, who is embroiled in a political tug-of-war with Deputy President William Ruto over the vote-rich Rift Valley.
Mr Moi’s woes started soon after his re-election as senator, with local leaders accusing him of not working with them.
He has, on several occasions, been accused by locals of not playing an active role in county matters.
Mochongoi MCA Kipruto Kimosop accused Senator Moi of being an absentee leader and failing to address issues affecting the people in the county.
“We have many issues affecting the people in this region including insecurity, food scarcity, floods and high poverty levels. Instead of addressing such issues, Senator Moi, who has not toured the area since he was voted in, is busy campaigning for the BBI,” said Mr Kimosop.
He said the MCAs voted against the BBI Bill to show the country that Senator Moi had no political clout in his home turf despite positioning himself to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta in the 2022 General Election.
2022 succession politics
But Kanu ward reps have claimed that their Jubilee Party counterparts dragged the 2022 succession politics into the BBI debate. Kabarnet MCA Ernest Kibet said that those who voted to shoot down the bill were doing it to satisfy their political masters.
“We fail to understand why they decided to put their interests first at the expense of that of the voters. It is a big blow to them because the document has been passed by more than 30 assemblies and it will now go to the next stage,” said Mr Kibet.
Sources within the DP’s circle told Nation that Baringo MCAs shot down the Bill because of their political differences with their senator.
Jubilee MCAs have vowed to shoot down the BBI in the coming referendum, a week after they voted unanimously against it. Baringo County assembly shot down the document after 30 members from Jubilee voted against it while 11 from Kanu voted in support.
The MCAs led by Bartabwa ward rep Reuben Chepsongol, who is also the assembly chief whip, claimed that they will still maintain their decision to vote against it in the referendum, noting that they were not influenced by anyone but the interests of the people.
He said they opposed the document because it had nothing that would uplift the lives of the people.
“Baringo is very vast and we expected the document to incorporate some two more constituencies, one in Tiaty and the other for the minority Ilchamus community who have gone to court severally pleading for the same. Why should we support a document that will not benefit us in any way?” Mr Chepsongol posed. He claimed that the BBI was drafted to suit the interests of a few individuals and communities.
Saimo Soi MCA Richard Cheserem claimed that there was no democracy in the regions that voted in support of the document because they were influenced by some senior government officials.
“We chose not to vote for it despite the car grants. We shelved our own interests for the common good of the people,” said Mr Cheserem.
The rivalry between independence party Kanu and Jubilee also played out during the launch of the collection of BBI signatures in December last year after political leaders allied to the ruling party boycotted the exercise.
The launch, which was graced by Senator Moi, who is also Kanu chairman, at the Kabarnet Agricultural Society of Kenya show ground was only attended by political leaders allied to the independence party.
Governor Stanley Kiptis, members of parliament and ward representatives allied to the ruling party gave the exercise a wide berth.
It has also emerged that Nandi MCAs who also rejected the Bill did so to show solidarity with the deputy President who visited the county on Friday.