• Gatundu South MP Kuria and Kirinyaga Woman Rep Ngirichi said the shame BBI proponents are facing is their own fault for rejecting consensus negotiations.
• Ngirichi said her signature and many others were wrongly collected by "desperate" BBI proponents, She said government spent money on BBI instead of building schools.
Mt Kenya oliticians have praised Murang’a Senator Irungu Kang’ata's bold criticism of BBI being unpopular on the ground.
Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria and Kirinyaga Woman Representative Wangui Ngirichi said the shame BBI proponents face is their own fault for rejecting consensus negotiations.
“If the process involved parties from both divides, we would not be having all these rejection," Kuria said.
“Kang’ata's revelation is wake-up call to the head of state because he has all along been genuine over the initiative. But some players in the handshake movement want to take advantage of the BBI process to gain mileage for 2022."
The leaders were speaking in Mwea, Kirinyaga, during the burial of Kirinyaga businessman Domitian Nyaga Ndieri on Wednesday, January 6.
Ngirichi said Kang’ata just expressed the truth that most people in Mt Kenya didn't dare say out loud.
In an open letter to the President last week, the Senate Majority Chief Whip said BBI was unpopular in Mt Kenya and faced spectacular defeat without an urgent change of strategy. It generated a firestorm of criticism and a torrent of praise.
“Kang’ata is not misleading the President. He is just concerned the initiative has not been embraced in Mt Kenya and therefore expresses the importance of going back to the drawing board, Ngirichi said.
The woman representative also questioned the source of many signatures collecting during the BBI signature drive, saying many came from an "unknown source".
“I was also shocked to find my signature was also used. This tells of the desperation that has choked the process and how it is being forced down the throats of Kenyans.”
Ngirichi also criticised the government for failing to instal proper infrastructure in schools, resulting in students studying under deplorable conditions and some under trees.
She termed "mediocre" the proposal to have students study outdoors, without considering the problems and dangers.
“The government had plenty of time to construct proper classrooms while schools were closed. But instead of joining hands with MPs through the CDF programmes, it channeled its energy into popularising BBI.
"Why can’t those suggesting classes to be conducted under trees work under them?” She asked.
Deputy Governor Peter Ndambiri urged leaders to promote unity as the country heads to next year's general election. He urged fellow leaders to work as a team to avoid a contested referendum campaign if there is a BBI vote.
All leaders praised government’s efforts in streamlining the tea sector by passing the Tea Bill. They called for reforming rice farming through a raft of proposals to improve rice farmers’ returns
(Edited by V. Graham)