Ruto welcomes Raila's pledge to amend BBI for pastoralists

The leaders had last week identified 10 areas that they wanted to be amended.

In Summary

•The pastoralist communities made an about-turn and declared their unwavering support for the BBI report after they were assured their concerns would be addressed.

•The leaders had last week identified 10 areas that they wanted to be amended, but have since narrowed them down to three.

Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga address the media with governors and legislators from pastoralist communities after a meeting on BBI at a Nairobi Hotel on November 9, 2020.
Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga address the media with governors and legislators from pastoralist communities after a meeting on BBI at a Nairobi Hotel on November 9, 2020.
Image: FREDERICK OMONDI

DP William Ruto has welcomed ODM Leader Raila Odinga's commitment to amend BBI to encompass pastoralists' needs.

The pastoralist communities made an about-turn and declared their unwavering support for the BBI report after they were assured their concerns would be addressed.

The leaders had last week identified 10 areas that they wanted to be amended, but have since narrowed them down to three.

During their meeting on Monday, Raila said pastoralists' views on the BBI process that they expressed support for, are 'welcome and shall be taken into consideration as we formulate the way forward for our nation'. 

In a quick rejoinder on Twitter, Ruto said the petition by pastoralists that covers several areas in BBI was progressive.

"The public commitment to amend BBI to include these proposals is a welcome step towards consensus," he said.

Ruto added: "With this and other petitions accepted, a non-contested discourse is in the horizon."

This was after the deputy president said on Sunday that pastoralists, the church, women, the Senate and other stakeholders want consensus on the BBI.

"It's a contradiction to want to amend the Constitution while refusing to amend a mere report. It's defeatist to build walls to shut others out while purporting to build bridges," he said.

The pastoralists agreed to form a technical committee that will liaise with the BBI team to address their concerns.

The three issues they said would be extending the Equalisation Fund for 20 years, establishing the Livestock Marketing Authority and deleting the proposed amendment on Article 203 (1) of the Constitution on revenue allocation.

Concerns identified earlier but were dropped include securing and protecting the 290 existing constituencies, making the Senate the Upper House and doing away with the proposal to create the Health Service Commission.