BBI: Mudavadi slams Ruto for ‘taking Kenyans in circles without a clear position’

BBI: Mudavadi slams Ruto for ‘taking Kenyans in circles without a clear position’

Amani National Congress (ANC) party leader Musalia Mudavadi has hit out at Deputy President William Ruto over his push for consensus on the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) bill.

This comes after the DP on Tuesday hosted his allies at his Karen residence and thereafter held a press conference saying the BBI referendum should be held in 2022 alongside the General Election to allow time for consensus-building as well as to save costs.

Mudavadi, in a later post on social media, however told off DP Ruto saying that despite consensus being important, time is of the essence as far as the BBI issue goes.

The ANC party boss further accused the DP of taking Kenyans in endless circles and of being afraid to commit to a particular stand.

“Building consensus is key, but time is of the essence. The BBI has timelines that should be adhered to for the country to have a say and move on. As a leader, taking Kenyans in circles without a clear position amounts to a failure to provide effective leadership,” said Mudavadi.

“The suggestion to conduct a multiple question referendum is unrealistic. Even in the UK that has high literacy levels, during the referendum on whether to leave the EU or stay (BREXIT) the choice was simply Yes or No. Similarly, Kenya’s 2010 constitution was determined in a referendum that was simply a Yes or No decision and not multiple questions. Mr Deputy President kindly reflect.”

— Musalia W Mudavadi (@MusaliaMudavadi) December 2, 2020

DP Ruto, in his speech as well as a statement read to the press by his allies, earlier questioned the legitimacy of spending billions on a referendum only one year ahead of an election that will cost the taxpayers even billions more.

He, instead, noted that funds set aside for the impending referendum instigated by the BBI process should be set aside towards efforts of mitigating the effects of COVID-19 in the country.

“We must consider the circumstance which we find ourselves in as a country. We’re in the midst of a deadly pandemic that has ravaged our country killing close to 1,500 Kenyans including our frontline health workers, infecting nearly 100,000 Kenyans, straining the public health sector, and instigating an economic meltdown,” stated former National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale.

“It is legitimate to question the wisdom of spending Ksh.14 billion a year before an election that will cost us another Ksh.42 billion going by 2017 figures of IEBC, when a referendum could be conducted as the seventh ballot in a General Election at virtually no cost.”

The DP and his team also sought to discount a Yes or No referendum saying a constitutional amendment is too weighty an issue to be subjected to such a “simplistic approach” and should instead be a multiple choice affair based on issues affecting Kenyans.

He however also declined to be drawn into a discussion of whether he will, if his recommendations are not considered in the final BBI bill, vote Yes or No for the document.

According to the DP, “our stand is that it is never too late to do the right thing,” and that the door on their recommendations cannot be shut because “this is our country, what is the rush? Nobody can shut down a good proposal.”