BBI POLITICS

Ruto, allies opposition to executive slots selfish

A good number of the proposals can only be adopted through the popular initiative that leads to a referendum

In Summary

• Opinion is, however, divided on whether the position of executive Prime Minister and two deputies should be created.

•  If these positions will help address the problem of ethnic and electoral violence witnessed in every election cycle, why not have them?

President Uhuru Kenyatta, Deputy President William Ruto, ODM leader Raila Odinga and other leaders during the BBI launch at the Bomas of Kenya on Wednesday, November 27, 2019.
President Uhuru Kenyatta, Deputy President William Ruto, ODM leader Raila Odinga and other leaders during the BBI launch at the Bomas of Kenya on Wednesday, November 27, 2019.
Image: COURTESY

I come from a school of thought that believes in tenets of democracy and more so, popular public participation when it comes to good governance.

This is the position President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga upheld when they launched the Building Bridges Initiative report at the Bomas of Kenya.

Though all along Deputy President William Ruto opposed the BBI process, he seemed to read from the same script during the launch. He stated in at least two instances that the report will be subjected to another round of validation.

“The anticipated BBI report will be unveiled in raw form. You will have another opportunity to interrogate it and make a decision,” he said.

But the DP and his allies have since changed the narrative.  They say it is a good report and are ready to support it. However, they gave one condition they described as an irreducible minimum demand: The BBI report must be adopted by Parliament in its present form.

"We are going to oppose the popular initiative because there is no need of spending a huge chunk of taxpayers’ money at a time when Kenyans are struggling to eke a living," they say.

Here, the question that comes to mind is, why are Kenyans suffering? I think it is because of the high-level corruption as Auditor General's audit reports have revealed that billions of shillings have been looted and misappropriated.

Given this scenario, I would not have expected Ruto allies to use the money narrative to derail such a noble exercise.

As a political analyst, I have been listening to the views of Kenyans touching on a raft of key constitutional amendments they want.

A good number of the proposals can only be adopted through the popular initiative that leads to a referendum. Many Kenyans want the elective positions to be reduced, Judiciary reorganised and the number of constitutional commissions slashed.

Opinion is, however, divided on whether the position of executive Prime Minister and two deputies should be created. Of course, this is because politicians, particularly those supporting the DP, are opposed to these slots.

I am sure many Kenyans agree with me on the need to have these positions if they will help to address the problem of ethnic and electoral violence witnessed in every election cycle. In fact, the issues of ethnic antagonism and competition, national ethos had been captured very well in BBI nine-point communique.

Notably, if ODM could have formed the government in 2007, Ruto was poised to become an executive Prime Minister. The DP was the first to make these revelations when he toured the home turf of ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi sometime back.

In his new book, Mudavadi has also revealed this. So, why is DP now opposing this position? What has changed? That time he wanted Raila to become the President but today he is a fierce critic of ODM leader. This time he is eyeing the seat that Raila wanted. So, it’s all about politics.

A time has come for Kenyans to be wary of this kind of politicking. They should not fall prey to those who want them to abdicate their responsibility of building “The Kenya We Want”.

Ndonga is a political analyst and blogger