BBI DEBATE

Kenya is ready for a referendum – DP Ruto

In Summary

• Deputy president William Ruto has dismissed claims that he is opposing a possible referendum as proposed by the Building Bridges task force.

• Ruto on Friday said the proposals recommended by the BBI are all achievable through a referendum if need be.

Deputy President William Ruto arrives in Narok for the homecoming of nominated MP David Sankok
Deputy President William Ruto arrives in Narok for the homecoming of nominated MP David Sankok
Image: PSCU

Deputy president William Ruto has dismissed claims that he is opposing a possible referendum as proposed by the Building Bridges task force.

Ruto on Friday said the proposals recommended by the BBI are all achievable through a referendum if need be.

He said the only problem he has is the threats and intimidation from sections of politicians who are pro BBI.

“There has been various reactions over the BBI report. For now the report is out and here with us. We have seen the proposals and the recommendations and all we want is that through a consensus we agree on its implementation,” Ruto said.

The DP was speaking during the a thanksgiving ceremony for nominated MP David Sankok held at Enkare-Ngiro primary school grounds in Narok County.

“It is not necessary for us to threaten each other. The threats and intimidation will not serve us any good. Many institutions will participate in actualising  what Kenyans want in the report,” Ruto said.

He said all political leaders must however accept and submit themselves to the rule of law in implementation of the report.

Ruto said various commissions will take part in implementing sections of the report. We have sections that will be dealt by government ministries.

With regards to any changes in laws, we have a democratic parliamentary system that will handle that. If there are changes that need people themselves to handle then that will be done through a referendum if need be,” he said.

Ruto added, “It is not us vs them. We are ready for this referendum but it should be done without divisions, intimidation and chest thumbing.  It is not about a contest but let us agree because we are all Kenyans”.

Ruto said while launching the report, President Uhuru Kenyatta made valid suggestions that those in the political class should not ignored.

President Uhuru Kenyatta said politicians should look at the report and for whatever they do not agree on, they must take it to the people to decide.

He said the government has the capacity to assemble resources that will be key in addressing the challenges highlighted by the report.

I want to urge all the leaders from across the entire political divide that let us be sober while debating the report. We can do it without divisions, intimidation as if it is a contest. We are all Kenyans and we deserve unity and partnerships for development,” he said.

He added, “We know the loss we have suffered and a country through such divisions and we should not head there. Let us speak and listen to one another”.

Ruto’s sentiments come amid heated debate on what next for the BBI report.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga said his brigade will not allow conversation on the BBI that does not lead to a referendum.

He said the only way the BBI proposals will be defended is through a referendum.

"This report is people owned and will not be taken to Parliament. Kenyans will decide what t do do with the report," Raila said.

But National Assembly Majority leader Aden Duale said the proposals in the report to not guarantee a referendum.

Duale on Tuesday said from the first impression of the BBI report,  he has faith that Kenya can sort all of the items proposed therein through Constitutional amendments by way of Parliamentary initiative as contemplated under Article 256.

His sentiments wewre echoed by Gatundu South MP Mosers Kuria who hit  back at ODM for vouching for a referendum under the BBI.

Kuria on Thursday said both the National Assembly and the Senate will not burden Kenyans with a 'useless' referendum that will cost the taxpayer over Sh30 billion.