PRO-HANDSHAKE

Mt Kenya leaders vow to aggressively lobby for BBI

It is the best the route to lasting peace and the region’s political and economic future.

In Summary

• The MPs said the region has borne the brunt of political unrest and understands the value of peace.

• They said they will conduct civic education saying majority of elected leaders in the region are for the constitutional review.

MPs from the Mt. Kenya region addressing journalists in Murang'a on Saturday.
MPs from the Mt. Kenya region addressing journalists in Murang'a on Saturday.
Image: Alice Waithera

MPs from the Mt Kenya region have vowed to aggressively lobby for the Constitution of Kenya Amendment Bill in the region.

The leaders, who met in a hotel in Murang’a County on Saturday, said they will immediately embark on civic education and active mobilisation.

In a statement read by Kirinyaga Senator Charles Kibiru, the leaders lauded locals for demonstrating their support for the region by appending their signatures in support of the bill and endorsing the proposed political reforms enshrined in the document.

They noted that only 15 elected Members of Parliament out of 91 are against the BBI report and that the remaining 60 continue to steer the country to a progressive path being charted by the President.

“Let it be noted that we have gathered here as the silent majority of leaders in the region in contrast to the few who dominate the headlines,” they said.

They said as leaders from a community that has always borne the brunt of political violence, they understand the value of peace and stability that were not evident before the handshake between the President and ODM leader Raila Odinga.

They said BBI is the only way for the Mt. Kenya region to realise the promises of democracy, fairness, equity and equality of all citizens that are enshrined in the constitution.

It will also best the route to lasting peace and the region’s political and economic future.

 The BBI will strengthen the fight against graft by limiting the amount of time corruption and other economic crimes take in court.

“There has been a massive disinformation campaign and deliberate efforts to delegitimise the BBI process in the region and make it appear unpopular by elements that do not have our interests at heart,” they further noted.

“We are compelled to remind our people that failure to pass the document would portend a bleak future for the region as it would result in the continuation of an unjust status quo and also aggravate economic and development deprivation in the region,” they said.

The MPs said they are counting on the pragmatism of the locals to help them rally behind what advances their interests noting that there are some political leaders out to neutralise the unity of the region.

They extended an olive branch to those yet to support the BBI who they said ‘keep telling us that BBI is good but they are afraid to antagonise their masters’.

On Thursday, the council of eminent persons of Murang’a summoned senator Irungu Kang'ata over his letter to the President on BBI seeking to establish the authenticity of the letter.

Chairman Joe Kibe confirmed that they met the senator but declined to divulge more information.

The letter that hit the headlines early last week has drawn strong support from leaders affiliated to the Deputy President and admonishment from those lobbying for the BBI.

On Saturday, the President addressed Kang’ata saying he believes in democracy but added that he is in charge of the government and its operations.

“I do not need to be lectured. I know where I am and am very clear of where I am going,” he said.