DP Ruto, Raila meet at Kakamega funeral as push for BBI hots up
Deputy President William Ruto has said there is still room to make the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) Bill more accommodative.
He said it was not too late for the country to reach at a consensus on the document.
The Deputy President said he was impressed that some changes were effected on the document after the launch at Bomas.
He said it was not late to introduce further amendments on the document, saying it was the only way to attain a consensus and avert a divisive referendum that can further polarize the country.
Speaking during the service of the late Matungu MP, Justus Murunga, held at Makunda primary school grounds in Kakamega County, on Saturday, Dr Ruto said the Constitution making process should involve all Kenyans.
“When we asked for some changes on the document after Bomas, some changes were indeed effected. It’s not late for us to further make more changes on this document. In short, it’s not late to do the right thing,” said Dr Ruto.
Present were Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka, ODM leader Raila Odinga, ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi, Ford Kenya leader Moses Wetangula, Governors Wycliffe Oparanya (Kakamega) and Wycliffe Wangamati (Bungoma) and more than 30 MPs.
Dr Ruto said the fight against tribalism and negative ethnicity was for Kenyans to have a document that cannot polarize them further.
“All we’ve agreed is to leave behind politics of tribalism. So as to achieve this, let’s respect and accommodate the opinion of all Kenyans so as to move forward as people of a united country,” said Dr Ruto.
The Deputy President said it was wrong for some leaders to claim that having multiple choice referendum questions was cumbersome for Kenyans, yet during elections Kenyans have the option of electing six different leaders.
“It is fallacy for some leaders to tell us it’s too much for Kenyans to have several questions during a referendum, yet they can elect six leaders at the same time,” said Dr Ruto.
He added: “There is no need to hurry on issues of Constitution. The other time you told us “wakati wa katiba ni sasa na kama sio sasa ni sasa hivi’ (the time is now) Now we are at it again rushing this BBI issue. Why the hurry?” asked Dr Ruto.
Mr Odinga said the aim of the handshake was meant to unite the country, which he said was divided along tribal and political lines.
“We resolved to imitate the handshake so as to unite the country,” said Mr Odinga.
Mr Mudavadi said the country was facing serious economic challenges that needed to be addressed as a priority.
He however, said BBI report should be passed by Kenyans to pave way for the government to embark on the economic recovery.
“We will delay the process of economic recovery if we postpone issues of BBI,” said Mr Mudavadi.
Senator Wetangula on his part regretted that the economy of western region was deteriorating due to collapse of the sugarcane factories.
“We ask the Jubilee administration to set some funds aside in its last budget to revive the factories which have collapsed,” said Mr Wetangula.
He went on: “We will not accept leasing of Mumias and Nzoia factories. The factories should be handed over to the counties. But bringing us mysterious tycoons in the name of leasing our factories for 25 years is a joke,” said Mr Wetangula.
The leaders eulogized the late MP as a development conscious individual who was keen on improving the lives of his constituents.
President Uhuru Kenyatta in a condolence message read for him by the Deputy President said the late Murunga exhibited dedicated leadership to transform the lives of his people.
“The late Murunga was a courageous man who stood for what he believed in. He leaves a huge vacuum that cannot be filled,” said President Kenyatta.
Dr Ruto described the late Murunga as a politician who always had the interest of his people at heart.
“The late Murunga was always on top of things on matters affecting his people as in the case of education and agriculture especially on technical education institute and medical training colleges,” said Dr Ruto.
National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi in a message read for him by Chief Whip Emmanuel Wangwe said the late Murunga advocated matters affecting his people especially on the sugarcane sector.