Ruto hits out at Uhuru over intent to revisit stalled BBI
Deputy President William Ruto yesterday hit out at President Uhuru Kenyatta, saying the Building Bridges Initiative was not a priority for the country.
Ruto, who is on a two-day tour of Machakos county, spoke barely a day after the President, in his State of Nation address on Tuesday, gave signals of a looming attempt to revive BBI, which was declared unconstitutional by the courts.
“I told them Kenyans are not ready to change the Constitution for the sake of adding powers to the Presidency and creating more positions in the Executive. Changing the Constitution will have to wait until we improve on our economy,” said Ruto, who has been a fierce critic of BBI.
“Even if we were confused at whatever level, what is the priority for this country? Is it creating positions for leaders or creating income opportunities for the ordinary people?” asked the DP, who was addressing rallies in Makueni yesterday.
In his Tuesday speech, Uhuru had stated that Kenyans were denied what he termed as ‘a constitutional moment’ through a document that was born out of the March 2018 Handshake between him and his then political nemesis and arch-rival former Prime Minister Raila Odinga.
“The only question is what we should do with that constitutional moment. If we do not embrace it, how will it return to punish our nation?” Uhuru asked.
“And if we embrace it, who are the winners and losers of that moment? That is the national question before us today. For that reason, that which did not happen in BBI shall happen,” the President stated, cryptically.
Uhuru affirmed that if Article 1 of the 2010 Constitution states that all sovereign power rests in the people of Kenya; and can be exercised either directly or through their representatives. “They exercised this power directly through IEBC petition for constitutional change, and indirectly through county assemblies and Parliament.
However, Ruto maintained that it is the Handshake to blame for the failed achievement of Jubilee’s Big Four agenda.
“You heard the President say the Big Four agenda implementation faced hurdles. This is because we invited Raila, who disorganised our government and broke down Jubilee into pieces and lastly told us to play BBI reggae. He told us to change the Constitution so as to create more positions for the rich but it was stopped by God,” said Ruto.
The Deputy President reaffirmed that that which did not succeed in Jubilee would be accomplished during his tenure should he succeed his boss next year.
While drumming up support for his Bottom-up economic model, Ruto said the trickle-down economic model that has been in place since independence had failed to address the needs of the people.
He also hit hard on his competitors, saying they had no development record to show the electorates.
“Those I am competing with, what can they show in terms of development here in Machakos? Have they done any road? They do not deserve any of your votes,” he said.
He urged the people of Ukambani to cut links with Raila, calling on the community to back his bid and refuse to be bundled in tribal political outfits.
“Never again should you accept to be divided in tribal lines by engaging in tribal political parties,” said Ruto.
Ruto was accompanied by United Democratic Alliance chairman Johnson Muthama, MPs Victor Munyaka (Machakos Town), Vincent Musyoka (Mwala) and Nimrod Mbai (Kitui East).
His caravan addressed residents of Machakos town, Mutituni, Makaveti, Kiatuni, and Muumandu. Today, DP is to tour Mwala where he will address rallies at Ikalaasa, Masii among others.