BBI DEBATE

Mt. Kenya leaders want Parliament to implement BBI

They said that Constitutional amendment in relation to BBI report is Parliament.

In Summary

• They have also called upon government agencies to pick up policy areas in the report and implement them.

• They said that the current county's economy does not allow for a national referendum and instead such funds should be diverted in various agricultural sectors.

A section of the Mt Kenya politicians after a meeting in Embu
A section of the Mt Kenya politicians after a meeting in Embu
Image: REUBEN GITHINJI

A section of leaders from the Mt Kenya region have agreed that Parliament is the way to implement the Building Bridges Initiative as opposed to a referendum.

This comes after the 57 leaders held a two-day retreat in Embu to discuss the way forward on the BBI report.

The legislators on Saturday said any Constitutional amendment in relation to BBI report should be Parliament-led.

 

They said many aspects contained in the BBI report can be  implemented in the Parliament because they touch on the law and not amendment to the Constitution.

"Parliament is the sole body constitutionally mandated to pass laws. We commit ourselves to drive legal work in Parliament moving forward," part of the statement read by Embu senator Njeru Ndwiga read.

The group said Kenyans are already over burdened and national resources should be spared from a national referendum.

“We must avoid a contentions, divisive national process. We must avoid a national process that works against the primary objective of BBI- the unity of our country,” the statement said.

They said the BBI must not be used for politics nor be hijacked by evil people.

The legislators said if the country must go to a referendum, then it must be solely based on the issues raised in the current BBI report, a process that unites and not divide.

As a result the MPs said they hold that if a referendum must be done, it should be conducted alongside the 2022 general election.

Deputy President William Ruto addressing residents in Kangundo town.
Deputy President William Ruto addressing residents in Kangundo town.
Image: PHILOMENA KILONZO
 
 
 

“If at all a referendum is the way to go, it must carry along everyone. We shall refuse a referendum that will leave Kenya more divided,” the statement said.

It added, “And for avoidance of doubt, we shall refuse another committee of experts”.

The legislators have also called upon government agencies to pick up policy areas in the report and implement them.

They said the current county's economy does not allow for a national referendum and instead such funds should be diverted in various agricultural sectors.

"Our national resources should be spared from a national referendum. It should be avoided," the statement reads.

Those who attended the meeting included Rigathi Gachagua, Moses Kuria, Ndindi Nyoro, Purity Ngirichi, Patrick Munene and Kariuki Mariru.

Mwangi Gichuhi, Anthony Kiai, Samuel Gachobe, Susan Kihika, Kabinga wa Thayu, John Kinyua, Mary Wamaua and Alice Wahome.

Munene Wambugu, Githinji Gichimu, Muchangi Karemba, John Muchiri, Kago wa Lydia, Jungle Wainaina, Rahim Dawood, Jonah Mburu and John Mutunga.

Mithika Linturi, Njeru Ndwiga, Kimani Ichungwa, Kathuri Murungi, Faith Gitau, Rahab Mukami, Stanley Muthama and Jayne Kihara.

Cecily Mbarire, Jude Njomo, Jane Wanjuki Thitima, Beatrice Nkatha, Kareke Mbiuki, Josphat Kabeabea and Kimani Ngunjiri.

Charity Kathambi, David Gikaria, Cate Waruguru, Geoffrey Kingangi, Sen Isaac Mwaura, John KJ Kiarie and Githua Wamacukuru.

Kubai Kiringo, Mike Muchira, Muriuki Njagagua, Kwenya Thuku, Jeremiah Kioni, Kimani Kuria and David Kiaraho.

Other were GK Kariuki, George Theuri, John Paul Mwirigi and Rindikiri Mugambi.

Also in attendance was Agriculture CS Mwangi Kiunjuri.

Their remarks come amidst discussion on how to implement the BBI report.

ODM party leader Raila Odinga and several leaders close to him had earlier said that the report should be taken to the people to determine its fate.

Raila said any discussion on the report should be centred around 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  Majority leader in the National Assembly Aden Duale said the report should be taken to Parliament for implementation.

The report was handed over to President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday at the State House and launched the following day at the Bomas of Kenya.

Deputy President William Ruto earlier on said some leaders are using Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) to get to power.

He said after failing to get the people's nod, the politicians were now using shortcuts to sneak into leadership.

The DP noted that the current change of tune that there must be a referendum after the publication of the BBI report is part of the scheme.

Speaking during a funds drive at Holy Spirit primary in Kangundo, Ruto said a 95 per cent of the BBI report can be implemented by the Parliament without conducting a referendum.

"This report almost 90 per cent will be implemented by government departments, constitutional commissions and the Parliament so there is no need for Kenyans to go for a Referendum", Ruto said.

He added that, " They wanted BBI we agreed, and now that they want a Referendum we can also accept that but let them not use this report to divide Kenyans".