Matiang’i, Wamalwa take BBI campaign to Makueni

The leaders opposed constitutional amendments through Parliament

In Summary

• Wamalwa and Matiang’i said the document was a unifying factor in a country wracked by ethnic violence every electoral cycle.

• Governor Kibwana and MPs Rose Museo, Joshua Kimilu and Thaddeus Nzambia defended Matiang’i against attacks by DP Ruto Tangatanga allies.  

Building Bridges Initiative politics took the centre stage of interactions during a visit to Makueni landslide victims by two Cabinet Secretaries on Wednesday.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i and his Devolution counterpart Eugene Wamalwa said the report was the fulcrum of unity in a country previously wracked by ethnic violence every electoral cycle. 

They spoke at Tusunini Primary School after visiting landslide victims camping in three centres in Kilungu sub-county.

Matiang'i said President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga intended to unite Kenyans through the handshake that yielded the BBI report.

"We got our independence to live in peace and develop our country but not to fight one another along tribal lines," the CS said as Wamalwa encouraged public participation on the document since it gives room for improvement on the 2010 constitution.

Wamalwa opposed constitutional amendment through Parliament, noting that public participation was the route to take.

"As the CS for devolution I am happy with the report because it proposes the improvement on the 2010 constitution and devolution is a big winner according to the report," he said.

The report proposes a 35-45 per cent allocation of the national budget to the devolved governments, up from 15 per cent.

Wamalwa defended Matiang'i from Deputy President William Ruto allies. He said CSs will not be intimidated and will continue performing their duties as the constitution.

"We have been given the mandate by the President to serve Kenyans under the constitution and that is why we are here today. And you Matiang'i and I are performers." 

Makueni Governor Kivutha said the BBI report should not be taken to the National Assembly.

"I am appealing to all Kenyans not allow their role of making the constitution to be taken by someone else, " Kibwani said, noting that the BBI report was similar to the 2005 Bomas draft that yielded to the 2010 constitution.

The governor said he will lead civic education on the report in the county.

"We will take it to the villages and help our people understand its contents because it has a good proposal for the youth, our families and it will help in improving the economy and politics of the country," he said. 

Kibwana also defended Matiang'i from Ruto's Tangatanga legislators.

Makueni Woman Representative Rose Museo, who was in the 16-member team that prepared the BBI report, said MPs opposed to the report ignored the task force when it was collecting Kenyans' views across the country.

"Since they didn't find their time to come and give views, they should be silent because it is time for the wananchi to give theirs.

Area MP Joshua Kimilu and Kilome MP Thaddeus Nzambia supported her remarks and opposed taking the report to the National Assembly for review and approval. They accused Tangatanga MPs of plotting to highjack it.

The legislators also defended Matiang'i and urged him to"ignore those fighting you as they are not the appointing authority".

"We are prepared to defend you and other CSs in Parliament," Kimilu said as he asked Kenyans to read and understand the BBI report as it has good proposals.