COOL DOWN

BBI and 2022 an explosive mixture, say clergy

Past wounds haven't healed, division is dangerous.

In Summary

• Catholic, Protestant and Muslim clergy urge the country to seriously consider BBI but warn that divisions could cause a crisis.

• Allies of DP William Ruto say the BBI process is being used by Raila Odinga to gain power in 2022. 

Incoming Catholic Bishop of Eldoret Dominic Kimengich.
COOL DOWN: Incoming Catholic Bishop of Eldoret Dominic Kimengich.
Image: COURTESY

Incoming Catholic Bishop of Eldoret Dominic Kimengich and other Rift Valley clerics have warned heightened politics around the BBI can divide the country and plunge it into a crisis ahead of 2022.

They spoke at Ziwa in Uasin Gishu on Sunday.

Kimengich and chairman of the Muslim Imams and Preachers in the region Abubakar Bini said political leaders must slow down and drive the country to the right direction. Past wounds have not yet healed, he said.

Kimengich says BBI should not be linked to the 2022 polls

He said political leaders must stop whipping up tensions over BBI, which was meant to solve some problems undermining the economic, social and political stability of the country.

He was appointed last month by the Pope to replace Bishop Cornelius Korir who died two years ago. He will be installed in the next three months.

The clergyman who spoke at his office in Eldoret said the political situation calls for a referendum must be handled carefully because 2022 is very near.

“If we go the way we are going then it’s not proper because the BBI has important issues yet we can also hear some politicians saying it’s a political vehicle. BBI and elections are separate," Kimengich said.

“Let’s interrogate the BBI document and make possible recommendations that will help the country now and in the future. No one should play politics with the BBI," Bini said.

They urged Kenyans to remain united and peaceful.

“We have learnt a lot from the past and we must always keep our peace and unity," Kimengich said.

Other clergy present included Bishop Sybery Nyabero of the Baptist Churches said the BBI had important details to help the country deal with challenges. He said those with selfish interests should not sabotage the BBI process.

Allies of DP William Ruto led by MPs Moses Kuria, Caleb Kostany and Kimani Ngunjiri have accused Opposition chief Raila Odinga of seeking to use the BBI to gain power in 2022.

(Edited by V. Graham)