REFERENDUM

MPs launch campaigns to market BBI in Mt Kenya

The BBI team will visit at least 10 Mt Kenya counties to consolidate the region

In Summary
  • Kieleweke wing that supports the President has unveiled a wall-to-wall campaign to market the document across Mt Kenya counties ahead of the referendum.
  • Part of their campaign will be to highlight major issues in the BBI report that resonate well with the residents of Mt Kenya in a deliberate strategy to turn table on Ruto's allies in the region.
ODM leader Raila Odinga receives the BBI report from task force vice chairman Adam's Oloo at the Kisii State Lodge on October 21. 2020.
ODM leader Raila Odinga receives the BBI report from task force vice chairman Adam's Oloo at the Kisii State Lodge on October 21. 2020.
Image: ANGWENYI GICHANA

Politicians from President Uhuru Kenyatta's Mt Kenya backyard have rolled out an aggressive campaign to popularise the BBI report in the region to counter DP William Ruto's wave.

The politicians, allied to the Kieleweke wing that supports the President, has unveiled a wall-to-wall campaign to market the document across Mt Kenya counties ahead of the referendum.

Part of their campaign will be to highlight major issues in the BBI report that resonate well with the residents of Mt Kenya in a deliberate strategy to turn table on Ruto's allies in the region.

The allies of the President and opposition chief Raila Odinga from Mt Kenya have picked at least three key issues in the BBI report which they say address the challenges facing the region as they ramp up support for BBI.

For instance, the Star has established the pro-BBI force in the President's backyard is marketing the additional 70 constituencies proposed in the report as likely to resonate with the region's one man one shilling mantra.

Mt Kenya alone is tipped to benefit from as many as 30 slots under the BBI allocation formula.

According to am programme seen by the Star, the pro-BBI team in Mt Kenya will traverse at least 10 Mt Kenya counties to shore up support for the document before the anticipated public vote.

“We are going to move across all our counties to tell our people the truth about the many benefits we have in the BBI report. We started from Kiambu on Saturday and we will take the message to every village,” said Nyeri Town MP Ngunjiri Wambugu.

According to Wambugu, the pro-BBI team will hold town-hall meetings with key opinion leaders and influential persons drawn from each of the respective counties to sell BBI.

“Our meetings will be held in strict compliance with the Covid-19 protocols,” he said.

The politicians have also highlighted the creation of the Youth Commission and a dedicated fund to help start up businesses as a deliberate effort to address the unemployment problem in the region.

The initiative will also rescue businesses hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic by offering capital to the vulnerable groups to start businesses.

This is seen as a strategy to counter the DP's hustler nation narrative said to have threatened the President's fortunes in his own backyard.

The Mt Kenya leaders are also premising their campaigns on the proposed formula for the sharing of revenue for counties favours the populous region.

The BBI report proposes that the minimum revenue allocated to the counties be increased from at least 15 per cent to 35 per cent.

The BBI proposal provides that the average money allocated per person to a county with the highest allocation does not exceed three times the average per person allocated to a county with the allocation.

The team will tour Nyeri, Murang'a, Kirinyaga, Embu, Tharaka Nithi, Meru, Laikipia, Nyandarua and Nakuru to popularise the BBI report.

The Mt Kenya team has already printed BBI campaign merchandise including T-shirts and caps as they unveil their marathon programme to market BBI.

On Saturday, the team was in Limuru, Kiambu county, in their first town hall engagement with the Mt Kenya residents after the launch of the signatures collection drive aborted last Thursday.

The meeting was hosted by Limuru MP Peter Mwathia and was attended by BBI proponents from Kiambu county and MPs from other Mt Kenya counties.

“The journey has just began, we are going to talk to our people directly in our meetings that will take us to every county,” said Laikipia Woman Representative Catherine Waruguru.

She said the aim of the team is to allow the Mt Kenya people an opportunity to engage with their leaders on the BBI proposals so as to consolidate the region behind the report ahead of the referendum.

The DP's confidants have poked holes in the building bridges initiative report terming in a Trojan horse for the political elite to share power in 2022 without addressing the common man's issues.

Ruto's allies have sustained the narrative that the BBI report is a scheme by Uhuru and his handshake brother Raila Odinga to vanquish his State House bid.