No easy task pushing BBI in Rift for Isaac Ruto, Moi

Kenya National Farmers Federation officials David Tanui,

From left: Kenya National Farmers Federation officials David Tanui, Ruth Maraba, Miriam Cheruiyot, and Harold Rugut prepare to address journalists at the association’s offices in Eldoret yesterday. They said the BBI report has failed to address farmers’ plight.

Photo credit: Jared Nyataya | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Already, Nandi Governor Stephen Sang has warned that he will not allow collection of BBI signatures in his county.

Kanu chairman Gideon Moi and his Chama Cha Mashinani counterpart Isaac Ruto face the daunting task of marshalling support for the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) Constitutional Amendment Bill in a region considered to be largely anti-referendum.

Leading the process

Yesterday, the former, who is the Baringo senator and the latter, a former Council of Governors chairman and former governor of Bomet, were the first leaders from the region to append their signatures to the document during its launch at Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC).

The Nation has established that the two leaders have been tasked with leading the process in the Rift Valley region. But they, alongside other BBI proponents in the region, face stiff opposition from Deputy President William Ruto, who has expressed strong reservations on the BBI report.

Already, Nandi Governor Stephen Sang has warned that he will not allow collection of BBI signatures in his county.

“Mtu asijaribu kukuja kutafuta signatures hapa. Hakuna mtu atapeana signature katika county yetu ya Nandi. Kwenda tafuta mahali kwingine (no one should come here searching for signatures... They should look elsewhere),”Mr Sang stated.

He added that the government should prioritise the fight against Covid-19, which is killing Kenyans, and not the BBI.

Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen yesterday took to Twitter to pour cold water on the BBI. “I hear the BBI Constitutional Amendment Bill that was launched in Bomas was amended. People attended the launch of the one million signatures, to promote a document that they have not seen. Anyway BBI referendum will not happen. I don’t know how but it won’t happen,” he tweeted.

Evident resistance

The evident resistance would leave the collection of the 1 million signatures — a pre-requisite for the amendment of the Constitution — in the hands of the provincial administration.

Pro-BBI governors in the region are Lee Kinyanjui (Nakuru), Alex Tolgos (Elgeyo Marakwet), Samuel Tunai (Narok), Joseph Ole Lenku (Kajiado) Patrick Khaemba (Trans Nzoia ), Ndiritu Muriithi (Laikipia) and John Lonyangapuo (West Pokot).

Being his home turf, the DP may also want to stamp his authority by blocking the exercise.

June plebiscite

Meanwhile, Kanu youths have vowed to lead the collection of signatures and popularise the BBI proposals in the Rift Valley ahead of the June plebiscite.

“We will be conducting a series of events to popularise the BBI in all the 14 Rift Valley counties,” said Nakuru Kanu branch organising secretary Kimani Wa Kimani yesterday.


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