GEAR UP FOR REFERENDUM

Women MPs meet Uhuru-Raila, vow to popularise BBI report

Meeting resolved to promote the document, which is billed as the solution to the main ills bedevilling the country

In Summary
  • The women leaders will traverse the country to popularise the document and lead the signature drive.
  • The leaders will also explain gender gains to their fellow women.
‘Team Embrace Mashinani’ leaders during a peace rally in Kabarnet, Baringo county.
‘Team Embrace Mashinani’ leaders during a peace rally in Kabarnet, Baringo county.
Image: JOSEPH KANGOGO

President Uhuru Kenyatta and his handshake partner Raila Odinga yesterday met pro-BBI women elected leaders ahead of the signature launch slated for today.

The meeting—the latest by the duo in a series of engagements with organised groups—resolved to promote the document, which is billed as the solution to the main ills bedevilling the country.

The pair have been holding meetings with various stakeholders, including MPs, governors and MCAs, to build consensus on the document.

 

The women leaders, numbering 25, agreed to hit the ground and traverse all the 47 counties to explain the gender gains to women. They will also play a key role in the one-week signature collection drive.

“We agreed to support the BBI process based on several gender gains. We will hit the ground running,” said a source who attended the State House meeting.

During the meeting, which lasted almost four hours, the handshake principals implored the politicians to explain the document to eliminate the knowledge gap that might be exploited by propagandists out to scuttle the process.

Uhuru and Raila are also said to have insisted that the document will not be amended as pushed by DP William Ruto, saying whoever has issues to be ready for a political duel.

“They said those who are opposed to the document are doing so because of fitina. They made it clear that they shall meet those people head-on in the field,” another source said.

Some of the gender gains in the BBI proposal include the full implementation of the two-thirds gender rule to ensure women play their rightful role in leadership.

The document also addresses critical societal issues that are part of the women agenda, including Article 43 on the rights to health, housing, water, food, education and social security.

 

President Uhuru and Raila will today launch the BBI signature collection at KICC, Nairobi, meaning the door for amendments has been slammed.

Deputy President William Ruto has threatened to lead the 'no' campaign against the proposals.

There were reports that later in the afternoon, the President had a three-hour meeting with Ruto, with sources at State House saying it centred on the DP’s reservations about the BBI report.

Contacted for details, Ruto’s director of communications Emmanuel Talam said, “A meeting between the President and his deputy cannot be news.”

On Tuesday evening, the President also met church leaders who are opposed to the BBI report.