• Linturi agreed with Kang’ata’s warning to Uhuru that the Building Bridges Initiative will fail in the region.
• But Kiraitu defended the popularity of the BBI process.
Meru Senator Mithika Linturi and Governor Kiraitu Murungi have differed on Senate Majority Whip Irungu Kang’ata’s warning to President Uhuru Kenyatta that the BBI process was unpopular in Mt Kenya.
Linturi agreed with Kang’ata’s warning to Uhuru that the Building Bridges Initiative will fail in the region. It will be a protest vote against the President’s running of the country, he said.
“People have pain in their pockets and families because of the economic hardship they are facing,” Mithika said.
He said the Mt Kenya region rallied behind Uhuru in 2013 and 2017 but he has yet to honour his promises to residents.
“What is more of a priority, giving money for BBI or the purchase of Covid-19 masks vaccines, PPE and paying medical workers?” Mithika asked.
The senator said Kang’ata must have had no choice but to write the letter as he can speak to the President in person given his position in Parliament.
“At least he has been bold enough [to act] without fear of being sacked or de-whipped,” he said.
But Kiraitu defended the popularity of the BBI process.
“We are not disputing what Kang’ata is saying but he could have used other means to talk to the President than leaking a letter on social media,” he said.
Kiraitu said Kang’ata should have consulted other leaders in Mt Kenya before reaching out to the President.
The county chief said that he will not support the BBI because of ODM leader Raila Odinga nor oppose it because Deputy President William Ruto does not want it.
“I’m supporting it because the addition of the share of revenue to counties from 15 to 35 per cent will benefit the people of Meru,” he said.
Kiraitu said there is confusion because people have not been sensitised about the BBI process. “We will teach them by June,” he said.
In the letter that went viral on Monday, Kang'ata cautioned that the proposed BBI referendum faced a "spectacular defeat" in the region.
The letter has triggered political suspicion in Raila’s camp and caused a major split in Mt Kenya.
Senator Kang'ata apologised, saying the letter was leaked to the media but Uhuru’s allies have claimed Ruto was the hand behind the political turmoil—including the letter.
On Monday, Kang'ata was disowned by powerful Mt Kenya leaders, including the region's 10 governors.
(edited by o. owino)