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Pressure piles on pro-Ruto leaning assemblies to endorse BBI

By Rawlings Otini
Wednesday, February 24th, 2021
Nandi County Assembly. Photo/PD/FILE
In summary

Pressure is piling on several County Assemblies in Rift Valley which are yet to endorse the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) to pass the document.

The assemblies under focus are those leaning to Deputy President (DP) William Ruto notably ElgeyoMarakwet, Uasin Gishu, Kericho and Nandi which are yet to debate the document.

Ruto and his troops have been leading the anti-BBI campaign across the country on grounds that it is calculated to frustrate his presidential ambitions.

But a section of residents from the regions yesterday warned that even if the assemblies reject the Bill, it will be of no impact as the proponents had already hit 24 mark threshold for a referendum.

During a live morning show at Emoo FM, four county assembly speakers including Joshua Kiptoo (Nandi), David Kiplagat (Uasin Gishu), Philemon Sabulei (ElgeyoMarakwet) and Kericho’s Dominic Rono were put to task on the direction their assemblies will take on the document.

Many of the constituents who called in, asked the assemblies to pass the BBI Bill and allow the people to exercise their constitutional right during the referendum.

“Let our MCAs pass that Bill and allow the people to shoot it down during the referendum. It is meaningless to wait longer yet others have already passed it,” said Cherop Rwandet from Kericho county.

Speaker Rono claimed BBI was aimed at enriching members of the executive and should be rejected. All eyes are also on Uasin-Gishu County Assembly which is in the DP’s backyard.

Speaker Kiplagat said the assembly has since rolled out public participation forums.

“We will not rush the process like other assemblies which have not involved the people. We will engage the people before making the fi nal decision,” said Mr Kiplagat.

A section of youth from the county called on the assembly not to be swayed by euphoria in debating the document.

“The MCAs should be objective and listen to what the people said during public participation forums,” said Vincent Chirchir, a youth leader.

The youth hit out at some assemblies for using the BBI to settle political scores.

They cited Baringo county where they claimed the MCAs had ganged up to fi ght Kanu by rejecting the Bill. Nandi County Assembly Speaker Kiptoo was categorical that public participation forums were crucial but expressed fears that the proposals will not be taken into consideration.

“The document seems to only favour those who are pro- Handshake, but not about the welfare of the common people,” said Mr Kiptoo.

So far, Baringo County Assembly is the only one which has rejected the Bill despite their senator Gideon Moi being the leading proponent of the referendum push in the region.

of BBI in the Rutoalied counties among them ElgeyoMarakwet Marakwet Governor Alex Tolgos have been having a rough time selling the document. Moiben MP Silas Tiren found himself on the receiving end in his constituency last week after his attempts to market report were repulsed by irate crowd.

Others who are said to have been supporting BBI silently for fear of public backlash are Uasin Gishu sSenator Margaret Kamar, Ainabkoi MP William Chepkut, Kesses MP Swarup Mishra and Governor Tolgos.

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