BBI opponents in Mt Kenya promise Uhuru a tough battle

Narc Kenya party leader Martha Karua

Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua during the party's alumni anniversary celebration at a Nairobi hotel on November 13, 2020. 


 

Photo credit: Jeff Angote | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Among those who have criticised President Kenyatta is Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua, who accuses him of attempting to influence succession politics in the region.
  • Mwangi Kiunjuri, the former Agriculture Cabinet Secretary and leader of The Service Party, said he will no longer have kind words for the President if he keeps stirring up trouble.

Several politicians from the Mt Kenya region have vowed to face President Uhuru Kenyatta head-on as he works to solidify support for the Building Bridges Initiative initiative (BBI) and his 2022 political agenda.

This follows the President’s announcement that he will remain politically active even after his term expires - to steer the region’s political affairs.

Among those who have criticised President Kenyatta is Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua, who accuses him of attempting to influence succession politics in the region.

Ms Karua noted on Saturday that Mt Kenya's residents are wise enough to elect a good leader.

"We elected President Kenyatta in good heart because we respect him. Therefore, he should respect us and stop telling us the direction we shall take when he leaves office," she said.

Ms Karua challenged the President to emulate his predecessor Mwai Kibaki whom she said did not try to impose a leader on the public.

"President Kenyatta should complete his final term peacefully, go home and allow us to elect another leader of our choice," the politician told a meeting at Baricho, Kirinyaga County.

Civic education

Ms Karua also took issue with the President for convening a meeting of Mt Kenya leaders to convince them to support the BBI draft Bill.

The Narc Kenya leader accused the government of wasting resources at Sagana State Lodge, trying to sell the BBI, instead of using it to print and distribute the document to all Kenyans.

"The government knows the document is not good. That is why it does not want the people to read it."

Ms Karua also asked the leaders to reject the BBI to protect the residents from oppression.

" The BBI is a bad document. It is poisonous and should be strongly opposed," she said, adding it is "a monster that can destroy the entire country".

She promised that her party will conduct civic education and ensure the people understand the negative effects of the BBI.

"We shall take residents and other Kenyans through the document so that they know what it entails and are able to make informed decisions," she said.

Kiunjuri’s warning

Mwangi Kiunjuri, the former Agriculture Cabinet Secretary and leader of The Service Party, said he will no longer have kind words for the President if he keeps stirring up trouble.

Speaking in Tharaka Nithi County on Saturday, during the burial of Ms Lucy Njeri Mbae, who was the wife of former Governor Samuel Ragwa, Mr Kiunjuri said that if pressured, he will “open a can of worms hidden in President Kenyatta’s administration”.

“I have always refrained from attacking the President … but I want to say this … if the President attacks me, I will have no choice. I will not allow President Kenyatta to push me into a corner and continue using his political lieutenants to attack me,” he said.

“Going forward, there will be a reaction for any action by President Kenyatta.”

He urged the President to listen to concerns raised by leaders including Murang’a Senator Irungu Kang’ata and 41 MPs from the Mt Kenya region “before more letters are written”.

Mr Kiunjuri also criticised the Sagana meetings, alleging they will divide, not unite, the region.

“When there is a problem, you call everyone to settle the issue. If there is a problem in Mt Kenya, the first group to be invited should have been of those in the opposing camp. Why should you be in Sagana while other leaders are out there? We never got an invitation and turned it down. If I were called, I would have gone.”

Jubilee's state

The TSP leader further said Mr Kenyatta should respect all residents of Mt Kenya to avert divisions.

Tharaka Nithi Senator Kithure Kindiki accused the President of “strangling" the ruling Jubilee Party by using the opposition to cause divisions.

Recently, Tigania West MP John Mutunga said the President is in “slumber land” and advised him to wake up and take after Mr Kibaki.

Mr Mutunga added that the BBI and the handshake between the President and Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga have driven a wedge between the latter and Deputy President William Ruto.

“When the deputy was sidelined, things started going south. No one should confuse us with tribal rhetoric. No one can decide a President for us. We will not allow the BBI to be used to divide us,” he said.

Reporting by Alex Njeru, George Munene and David Muchui

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