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I’ve no apology to make, Kang’ata maintains on his BBI remarks

By Anthony Mwangi
Tuesday, January 12th, 2021
Murang'a Senator Irungu Kang'ata.
In summary

Murang’a Senator Irungu Kang’ata has maintained his reservations on the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI), saying he was ready to suffer the consequences.

Yesterday, he said residents of the Mt Kenya region were categorical that they will shoot down the report should its proponents fail to adjust it to accommodate the interests of all before it is subjected to a vote.

Among others, he said residents were opposed to the proposed increase of parliamentary seats to nearly 600 as proposed in the BBI.

Addressing a press conference at Parliament, Kang’ata, also the Senate Majority Whip, said he was ready to abide by any action his party deems fit over his sentiments.

Last week, Kangata wrote a letter to President Uhuru Kenyatta, saying BBI was unpopular in the region.

The letter has since drawn the ire of many, including the President, who over the weekend dismissed Kang’ata and told him that he was in control and does not need to be lectured by novices.

Asked if he was ready for any decision that the party will take against him including impeachment, Kang’ata said, “If it happens I will honour the decision. I will respect the party position.”

The Murang’a Senator noted that one of the factors affecting the popularity of BBI in Mt Kenya  region was that it had been framed as a Jubilee factional agenda.

“We need to be ready to accommodate views from all, when good proposals come from the other side you start to bustardise them,” Kang’ata said in reference to a proposal by the Tanga Tanga function of the Jubilee party for a multiple-choice in the referendum.

He maintained that the idea to have BBI campaigns spearheaded by provincial administration was ill advised.

“I have talked to many people and local leaders, who argue that involving the administration to lead the campaigns is tantamount to forcing the report on them,” Kang’ata said.

He reiterated that the report will be rejected in the region unless the issues he has raised are addressed.

“I think I have played my role of telling my President the truth and I remain optimistic that he will give my suggestions due attention,” he said.

He accused the proponents of the BBI of playing politics to settle scores. “We need to accept good ideas irrespective of who is giving them. There are ideas that have been given by the so called Tanga Tanga wing that are very good,” said Kang’ata.

Luckily, he said there were those who had embraced his proposals and were ready to walk with him to the end.

“Murang’a Women Rep Sabina Chege, her Laikipia counterpart Catherine Warunguru and Meru’s Kawira Mwangaza, as well as Governor for Machakos, Alfred Mutua have called and expressed their support,” Kang’ata revealed.

He, however, said he regrets the leaking of the letter to the public, saying its leakage was aimed at soiling the relationship between him and the President.

Kang’ata said he copied the letter to the Secretary-General of Jubilee Party Raphael Tuju, and Senate Majority Leader Samuel Poghisio and could not explain how it ended up in the media. 

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