DP Ruto Keeps Kenyans Guessing, Issues New Ultimatums On BBI Referendum

Deputy President William Ruto’s camp have further called for amendments to the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report to avoid a ‘YES or NO’ referendum.

DP’s camp while appreciating the positive steps made so far in the current BBI Bill, Ruto and his allies noted that the contentious issues that they had raised has not been fully addressed by the final report.

They stated that BBI report in its original reform was intended to promote unity and settle the problem of exclusion and along the way it was hijacked.

DP Ruto also stated that there been engaged in a serious thinking, consultation and reflection on the BBI Bill.

“I am aware that many people want us to take a position on this document (BBI) and I want to tell you that where we are now is a point that requires a lot of thinking, a lot of reflection, a lot of consultation and that is what we were doing,” DP Ruto said.

Ruto and his team want the referendum to be held alongside the 2022 General Election at no cost.

“The referendum question can be included in the general election as the 7th question. We recommend that we have the referendum at the general elections and this will be at no extra cost for the IEBC,” he said.

Ruto further issued ultimatums that he said should be fully addressed to guarantee his support on the referendum.

Among issues the DP want addressed are the number of the size of Parliament and the Executive, the appointment of the Ombudsman, appointment of the IEBC Commissioners and the independence of the police.

“There’s room to have improvements on the document. We all agree that accountability is central to every arm of government. We are proposing an Ombudsman be appointed in a manner that Judiciary is comfortable with. We must also hold them to account.”

“Apart from the 47 women elected in the Senate, we propose that we retain the 47 women elected in National Assembly. This would reduce the size of Parliament.”

“We are of the view that we want women leaders to be voted in and not become token leaders. We want elected women. Apart from 47 elected in Senate, we want the same in NA reducing the number of nominations. “

“We appreciate that the IEBC shall not be politicized, and will remain independent. The police remain independent. Additional responsibilities given to Senate,” DP Ruto said.

However, with the ongoing collection of signatures and the position of the BBI proponents that the window for consensus building is closed, the deputy president and his allies look set to be heading to the ‘NO’ campaign side.

The deputy president had earlier held a meeting with more than 150 leaders including Governors and MPS at his Karen home, Nairobi to adopt a common ground on the BBI referendum Bill.

DP’s camp is said to have given conditions that will see a ‘No Consensus, No BBI’ situation.

Governors who are attending the meeting included; Jackson Mandago (Uasin Gishu), Josphat Nanok (Turkana), Stephen Sang (Nandi), and Moses Lenolkulal (Samburu).

MPs included; Caleb Kositany (Soy), Moses Kuria (Gatundu South), Didmus Barasa (Kimilili), Mohammed Ali (Nyali), Aisha Jumwa (Malindi) and Nominated Senator Millicent Omanga.

There were also reports that two opposing groups were emerging with DP’s camp with one group maintaining a hardline stance against any talks on BBI while the other faction considering supporting the amended bill.

Ruto had also hired a team of experts to break-down the BBI Bill to his camp shortly after President Uhuru Kenyatta and his handshake partner and ODM leader Raila Odinga launched the BBI signature collection drive at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC).

DP’s allies who are in favour of No campaign include; Tharaka Nthi Senator Kithure Kindiki, Elgeyo Marakwet senator Kipchumba Murkomen, Senator Mithika Linturi (Meru) and MPs Alice Wahome (Kandara) and Kimani Inchung’wa (Kikuyu).

While those who are in support of the amended document include; Senators Aaron Cheruiyot (Kericho), Samson Cherargei (Nandi), Christopher Lagat (Bomet), and MPs Didmus Barasa (Kimilili) and Benjamin Washiali (Mumias East).

 

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