Don’t use BBI report to divide Kenyans, Matiang’i warns

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Interior CS Fred Matiang’i has urged leaders to avoid inciting and dividing Kenyans along tribal lines.

Matiang’i said the country is larger than any politician and none of the legislators should be allowed to use incitement during the BBI implementation process.

“Before the handshake, leaders could not travel to other counties for fear of being attacked,” he said.

“Now, we have leaders who have travelled from far and wide to attend this fundraising in Kirinyaga.”

Matiang’i called for peaceful talks when discussing the BBI report.

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“Kenya is a democratic country and divergent opinions are allowed. But let us have meaningful conversations,” he added.

Matiang’i spoke as the Guest of Honour during a fundraising ceremony at Gathiruini Secondary school, Kirinyaga county on Friday.

Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho was in attendance urged Kenyans to carefully go through the BBI report and air out the recommendations.

“There is nothing like peace and tranquillity in a country. The problem is that in our country we (legislators) think we are doing Kenyans favour.

Joho said it is not about the leadership at the time but the kind of system leaders create for the future.

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“I want a peaceful country. Please do not listen to us (politicians) to inform your decisions, make your own decisions and make sure they are considered in the final report,” he added.

Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru said the BBI report has so many benefits to the people of Kenya.

She said issues may arise from the report but urged Kenyans to deal with the issues amicably.

“Shida ziko lakini hazitatuliwi na vita… (issues are there but they are not solved with fights),” Waiguru said.

She said BBI’s main goal is to foster unity among Kenyans.

The event was attended by at least 30 MPs as BBI politics took centre stage.

Also in attendance, were governors Francis Kimemia (Nyandarua), Joseph Ole Lenku (Kajiado), Muthomi Njuki (Tharaka-Nithi), John Nyagarama (Nyamira), Mutahi Kahiga (Nyeri).

Others were COTU secretary-general Francis Atwoli, Woman Reps: Wangui Ngirici (Kirinyaga), Fatuma Gedi (Wajir), Gladys Wanga (Homa Bay) and Gathoni Wamuchomba (Kiambu) among others.

Wamuchomba said some MPs are corrupt, and cannot be trusted to guarantee a two-thirds threshold in the National Assembly to effect the proposed changes.

“Some of them have shown us that they can receive money in toilets to sell their loyalty,” Wamuchomba said.

ODM on Thursday gave the clearest indication that the country could soon be headed for a referendum to adopt the Building Bridges Initiative proposals.

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Party leader Raila Odinga dismissed calls to take the parliamentary route in implementing the proposals, saying the people will vote in a referendum.

On Tuesday during the launch of the report at Bomas, Deputy President William Ruto showed that he was leaning towards a parliamentary initiative when he called on MPs to play their part when the document finally lands in their hands.

According to the DP, the changes can be implemented in line with the Constitution without necessarily calling for a referendum.

It is the referendum issue that is posing fresh battle lines between Ruto and Raila and which put to test the commitment by leaders to rally behind the report launched at Bomas of Kenya.

Ruto’s allies–National Assembly Majority leader Aden Duale and his Senate Counterpart Kipchumba Murkomen–have both advocated for the parliamentary route.

On Thursday, Raila dismissed the push for a parliamentary initiative saying Kenyans will vote for the improved document in a referendum.

“The process must be people-owned; it must not be taken to Parliament,” he said.

A number of party officials backed Raila’s remarks and voiced fears of the document being frustrated in Parliament by lawmakers oscillating around the Deputy President.

ODM chairman John Mbadi termed the current Parliament as “too divided to be trusted with an important national task as driving constitutional reforms.

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“I hear people talking about the parliamentary initiative. I want to state here categorically you can’t initiate a constitutional reform through Parliament. How do you expect the initiative to pass in that kind of a divided House?” Mbadi asked.

The Star

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