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BY DPPS,NYERI,1ST NOV 2020-Deputy President William Ruto has asked the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report proponents to tone down their threats and allow Kenyans to have a decent debate on the document.
Ruto said there was need for leaders opposed to changes on the document to soften their stance so as to reach at a consensus instead of subjecting Kenyans to an expensive referendum.
Speaking at the Presbyterian Church of East Africa (PCEA), Munyange Parish in Othaya, Nyeri County on Sunday, he said consensus remains key to a united country on the BBI issue.
He urged leaders to stop using BBI as an avenue to divide Kenyans.
“I want to ask leaders to engage in sober and decent debate so as to unite the country,” he said.
Present were MPs Kithure Kindiki (Tharaka Nithi), Beatrice Nkatha (Tharaka Nithi), Kareke Mbiuki (Maara), Rindikiri Mugambi (Buuri), Patrick Munene (Chuka), Kimani Ichung’wah (Kikuyu), Moses Kuria (Gatundu South), Ndindi Nyoro (Kiharu), Rigathi Gachagua (Mathira), Alice Wahome (Kandara) and Faith Gitau (Nyandarua),
Others were Dr. Kanyuithia Mutunga (Tigania West), Victor Munyaka (Machakos Town), Gichangi Mugambi (Othaya), Silvanus Osoro (South Mugirango), James Wamacukuru (Kabete), Rahab Mukami (Nyeri), Gichunge Kabeabea (Tigania East), Purity Ngirici (Kirinyaga) , Eric Muchangi (Runyejes) and Rehema Hassan (Tana River).
Ruto said politicians should allow Kenyans to vet the BBI document and identify proposals that were omitted by the steering committee during their public forums.
He said it would be unfair if politicians ignore the proposals made by ordinary citizens aimed at addressing the social economic challenges they face.
The deputy president said leaders should not force Kenyans to support the document in a hurry just because their issues have been well addressed in the document.
“There are issues that need to be corrected. There are other issues that have not been included and yet they are part of what was proposed by Kenyans,” he said.
Ruto noted that a section of leaders were keen on misusing the BBI report to revive their dwindling political careers.
Kindiki said Kenyans will only support the BBI report if it has robust proposals that will pull Kenyans out of poverty.
He said the BBI report should also be used to unite Kenyans and bring to an unity disunity in the country.
“We will oppose the BBI report if it does not include minimum guaranteed returns for our cash crops. We will also oppose it if it does not bring equality in the country,” he said.
His sentiments were echoed by Moses Kuria and Kareke Mbiuki who said the BBI report should have allocated more resources to agricultural programmes that will guarantee decent incomes for farmers.
“The one thing Kenyans want is guaranteed minimum returns for their products,” Mbiuki said.
Nyoro wondered why the organizers of BBI did not involve all leaders in the ongoing talks in Naivasha.
The Kiharu legislator said the organizers excluded those with divergent views especially on matters touching on agriculture.
“We want to tell them that if BBI was meant to unite Kenyans then all leaders should have been invited,” he added.
Ruto also attended church service at Presbyterian Church of East Africa (PCEA) St John Kimuchia in Chogoria and later addressed residents at Chogoria, Marima, Mitheru and Chuka in Tharaka Nithi County.