• The Raila team has lined up the next BBI rallies for Mombasa this weekend followed by others in Embu and Meru on February 2
• Ruto allies will hold their Eldoret meeting at the Sports Club, barely three kilometres away on the same day the BBI team will be in town.
Deputy President William Ruto’s allies intend to hold parallel rallies in all regions where the government-backed BBI meetings will be convened in the next three months.
This is likely to result in violence as happened last weekend in Western Kenya where opposition chief Raila Odinga led a BBI meeting at Bukhungu as the police dispersed a parallel rally by Ruto allies at Nabongo in Mumias.
The Raila team has lined up the next BBI rallies for Mombasa this weekend followed by others in Embu and Meru on February 2, Garissa on February 9, Eldoret on February 16, Suswa on February 17, Kiambu on February 25 and Nairobi on February 26.
The second phase of BBI rallies will be held in among other places Nakuru, Kitale, Bungoma, Busia and Kisumu.
The Ruto team resolved to counter the BBI wave in parallel rallies on the same days and in the same areas where the Raila-led team will be meeting with or without police permits.
Their Eldoret meeting will be at the Sports Club on the same day the BBI team will be in town. The venue is barely three kilometres from 64 Stadium, the venue of the Raila team will be congregating.
The organisers of the "peace anniversary" say they will be celebrating eight years of peace since the handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Ruto.
Sacked Agriculture CS Mwangi Kiunjuri will be the guest speaker. Kiunjuri is a key ally of the DP and last week he visited Eldoret and privately met with some grassroots leaders at a hotel on Kisumu road.
“We will have a roadshow in the town before a mega meeting at the Sports Club,” an MP allied to the DP announced.
Last Friday, Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi indicated the DP allies had crafted plans to deal with the BBI wave.
“Let those who are planning problems in Jubilee know that we are not fools and we will launch our own plans soon,” Sudi said. He said they were not opposed to the BBI.
“We also have brains. The so-called BBI meetings are the launch pad for ODM campaigns and they should stop lying to Kenyans,” he said.
Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei said they would explain to Kenyans the truth about the BBI in their rallies. He dismissed the Kisii and Kakamega BBI meetings as mere political rallies for ODM targeting Ruto for attack.
He said the police should not be used to frustrate those with divergent views like it happened in Mumias. “Let them go on with their rallies and allow us to also have our way because we are a democratic country. They should not drag us back,” the senator added.
Cherangany MP Joshua Kuttuny and Kanu leaders, among them secretary general Nick Salat, are hosting the BBI rallies in Rift Valley.
Kuttuny said yesterday that Ruto allies had panicked and, in desperation, planned rallies to cause chaos.
“Those of us supporting the BBI are doing so for the good of the country and we are not interested in chaos. It’s clear they want the status quo to remain. That is why they don’t want the BBI meetings,” he said.
In Mumias, the Ruto allies had indicated they wanted to discuss the collapse of the sugar industry. The main subject of their Eldoret rally will be peace. The Raila team has already notified the police on the planned BBI rallies countrywide.
It’s not clear if Ruto will attend any of the parallel meetings but he has asked the Raila group not to make him the subject of their forums. He complained that his name was mentioned more than BBI at the Kakamega meeting.
Some of his allies planned abrupt appearances at the Raila-fronted BBI meetings as a distraction and shift focus.
The recently-appointed Eldoret Catholic bishop, Dominic Kimengich, has warned that heightened politics around the BBI may plunge the country into political crisis and divisions ahead of the 2022 elections. He asked political leaders to stop raising tension and emotions over the BBI.