BBI POLITICS

Showdown looms ahead of Wote BBI Rally

Wiper Party affairs said they plan to distribute BBI copies before they plan another date for the rally.

In Summary

 

• Kibwana had earlier threatened to block a BBI rally organised by the Wiper Party before it was called off following the death of former President Daniel arap Moi.

• Kibwana wants any proposed BBI rally in Makueni to be held after the seventh devolution conference set for April 20 to allow for preparations.

Showdown looms between Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka and Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana over a mini-BBI rally in Wote town before the end of BBI schedules in April.

Kibwana had earlier threatened to block a BBI rally organised by the Wiper Party before it was called off following the death of former President Daniel arap Moi.

The governor later changed tune and said he would attend another rally scheduled on Friday, March 6, before it was called off again under unclear circumstances.

 

A source privy to Wiper Party affairs said they plan to distribute BBI copies before they plan another date for the rally.

Kibwana wants any proposed BBI rally in Makueni to be held after the seventh devolution conference set for April 20 to allow for preparations.

"As a show of respect to President Uhuru Kenyatta, who traditionally opens the annual conference and respect to the people of Makueni, Wiper should delay the rally and plan another after the conference," Kibwana told reporters on Monday after a leaders meeting in Wote town.

He said the rally intends to paint him in bad picture and his administration.

However, Wiper leaders insisted on the rally, which is in the planning process and will be held either late March or early April.

A statement by Ukambani legislators (MPs and senators) on behalf of Kalonzo on Tuesday Wsaid they are on course with the planned BBI rally in Wote but they must first prepare their people for the meeting and harmonise with the scheduled national BBI rallies.

"We shall, therefore, make further communication on a when we shall hold the rally once full consultations have been done," the statement read in part.

 

Wiper legislators said residents said they have not seen the BBI report.

"We leaders have, therefore, decided to avail copies of the official abridged version of the BBI with our own resources for our people of Ukambani. Our teams shall be on the ground in Unoa Wote in Makueni on March  to distribute the copies," they said

Wiper party vice chairman Mutula Kilonzo Jr dismissed Kibwana's argument, saying the rally had nothing to do with the devolution conference that begins on April 20.

He said the BBI schedule indicates the rallies will end at the start of April and Wiper's rally will be held at a later date but way before the conference after synchronizing the BBI calendar.

"Kibwana should not appear to be gagging a national conversation in favour of an annual conference. That is a Council of Governors' affair," Mutula jr told the Star in an interview on Tuesday.

"Kibwana had his own consultation and we did not question or interfere at all.  These freedoms work both ways".

The party's deputy organising secretary Robert Mbui cautioned Kibwana against interfering with the rally, saying the Kamba community is already united and any leader who is opposed to the rally is on his or her own.

The Kathiani MP said all political leaders from the Lower Easter region made a decision to speak in one voice after the Stoni Athi meeting held in Machakos last month. Any leader opposed to the unity risks being alienated, he said.

"Before the BBI meeting in Kitui, we had an inclusive meeting and it became clear that our people are tired of these petty and unnecessary fights. That is the reason all leaders have to calm down and talk to each other," Mbui told the Star.

"Any leader who tries to stop this BBI movement will be swept by the wayside".

Makueni Woman representative Rose Museo asked Kibwana to re-think his decision as it paints a respected leader in bad picture.

" What is famously known about Kibwana is that he is an intelligent scholar, a mentor and a leader I respect. But what he is doing paints him in a different bad picture," she said.

Pundits say Kibwana, who has declared his presidential interests, is slowly becoming an 'army of one man' after being abandoned by governors Alfred Mutua (Machakos) and Charity Ngilu (Kitui).

Since the 2017 General Election the three governors seemed to wrestle Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka putting into question his development impact in the region since he joined politics over 30 years ago.

Mutua, Ngilu and Kibwana had earlier promised to keep off any BBI rallies organised by Wiper Party in the region and instead fronted own mini-BBI forums. On e took place in Wote, Makueni county.

However, Kibwana and his allies say Kamba unity does not mean leaders supporting a particular candidate for the presidency.