•Wetang'ula says the postponement of the collection of signatures on the BBI report was a welcome move if it was meant to allow for time for consensus building ahead of a referendum.
•President Uhuru and Raila have said the 30-month exercise was exhaustive and will not be repeated.
Ford Kenya leader Moses Wetang'ula is urging President Kenyatta and opposition chief Raila Odinga not to ignore calls for 'consensus building' on the BBI report before it is processed for a referendum.
Wetang'ula says the two have to ensure 'extensive consensus' is achieved to avoid a rushed and contested referendum that may destabilise the country.
Wetang'ula says Uhuru and Odinga should take into account views of key stakeholders like churches which have also called for consensus before a referendum.
“If the process of collection of signatures last week was called off to give room for consensus then we must support that because a united and peaceful county at all costs,” said Wetang'ula in Eldoret after meeting Ford Kenya branch officials from the North Rift region.
The Building Bridges Initiative taskforce was gazetted on March 31, 2018, and took 18 months travelling around the country to collect views which were consolidated in a report unveiled on November 27, 2019.
That report was subjected to public validation before the final launch one year later on October 26, 2020. President Uhuru and Raila have said the 30-month exercise was exhaustive and will not be repeated.
Wetang'ula says some groups like churches to be consulted again.
“To the extent that we have had respected organs and organisations like the catholic church speaking out and saying that we are heading to the wrong direction, then we must stop and listen to them,” said Wetang'ula.
He said the country had being experiencing disunity for long and Kenyans had been exposed to disputed and chaotic polls which result in killings and destruction of property.
“Whatever document we have must unite all Kenyans. We want to go to elections where the winner doesn’t take it all and the loser goes away hungry. We want elections where at the end everyone will say it was a good fight and we live to fight another day,” said Wetang'ula.
He spoke as Bishops and other church leaders from the Rift Valley also backed calls for 'consensus building' on the BBI process.
Catholic Bishop of Eldoret Dominic Kimengich and chairman of the clergy in the North Rift Bishop Wilson Kurui said the BBI process should not be forced on Kenyans yet it is supposed to unite the country.
“We are urging President Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga to ensure the BBI process unites Kenyans as they have said its their intention. Let it not be another source of problems for this country,” said Bishop Kurui.