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Uhuru calls on Kenyans to pass BBI document

By Irene Githinji
Monday, October 26th, 2020
President Uhuru Kenyatta and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga display copies of the report after its presentation by the Building Bridges Initiative at Kisii State Lodge. Photo/PSCU
In summary
    • Proposed changes include the adoption of a hybrid presidential-parliamentary system.
    • The elected President is to appoint a Prime Minister from among members of the majority party in the National Assembly.
    • The BBI also proposes the appointment of two deputy Prime Ministers and ministers from within the membership of the National Assembly.

By Irene Githinji and PSCU

President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday defended the push to change the Constitution through the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report and urged Kenyans to pass the document.

The President maintained that the document seeks to address the plight of ordinary Kenyans, contrary to claims by skeptics that it only creates positions for a few politicians.

Uhuru spoke amid warning by Deputy President William Ruto and several politicans allied to him, that Kenyans would reject the document if it only created positions for a few leaders, instead of addressing the plight of the common man.

Ruto spoke in Mumias and Shianda trading centers in Kakamega county.  

Uhuru urged Kenyans to engage objectively with BBI saying the process is aimed at securing Kenya’s future as a cohesive and prosperous country.

“I urge you all to stand with us and pass the BBI document. However, I want to be clear that it does not belong to Uhuru, please read and understand it and you will see that it is addressing the wellbeing of ordinary Kenyans,” said Uhuru who had attended a church service in Nyeri town.

The President lashed out at BBI opponents saying they have no reason to reject the document, which will be officially launched this morning at Bomas of Kenya

“You are rejecting this document saying that things will be rectified some other time but when will this ever happen?  The time is now,” Uhuru stated.

He insisted that the BBI report seeks to not only ensure job creation among the youth but also address the electoral biases reported every five year, once and for all.

The President also said his key concern is to ensure that all Kenyans co-exist and that peace prevails all the time.

“Today my concern is how we will co-exist. This country does not belong to one person and we are all seeking peace. Let us keep our hope in the Constitution and not in any person.”

The President further stated that peoples’ rights should first be guaranteed before political campaigns can begin, adding that the decision to pass BBI document belongs to Kenyans and not an individual.

He said the BBI document will not only ensure equal distribution of funds across the country but also political seats, which has been some of the reasons that lead to violence every election cycle.

Post independence Kenya

“Kenya is also dealing with youths and unemployment and this cannot change if after every five years, the economy comes to a standstill because of an election.

We want to see the economy going on uninterrupted whether there is an election or not,” he added.

Earlier at PCEA Tumutumu in Nyeri, the President assured Kenyans that his administration will continue partnering with the Church in delivery of key services.

He lauded the church for its role in offering services to Kenyans over the years, saying the partnership should be strengthened even further.

“It is not just the gospel which the church spreads. This church mixed the spreading of the gospel, with education and taking care of health.

They treated the soul, treated the mind and treated the body,” he noted. 

“The government will continue to partner with the Church in giving service to the people. You have a partner in me and a partner in my government,” he added. 

He was at the PCEA church to commemorate 100 years since the ordination of pioneer group of 43 church elders.

He said it is through the church’s investment in educational facilities that founding fathers of Kenya, among them Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, were able to acquire the education they needed to liberate and serve post-independence Kenya. 

In the spirit of the Government-Church partnership, the President announced a donation of Sh100 million for the completion of ongoing expansion of the PCEA Tumutumu Mission Hospital. Further, the President announced government plans to award a Charter to PCEA University before the end of this year.

At the service attended by several Central Kenya leaders led by Nyeri Governor Mutahi Kahiga, the President urged Kenyans to cultivate a culture of selfless service to the nation.

“Our nation will develop, prosper and have peace if we all commit to giving service,” Uhuru said. 

PCEA Moderator Rev Julius Mwamba hailed the President for efforts to unite the country through BBI and urged Kenyans to engage with the process objectively.

“I am requesting members and all people in this country to read BBI report with an open mind; let us keep the truth above all so that through consultation we shall be able to come up with a glorious and strong country,” Mwamba appealed.

He said the church’s prayer is that Kenya moves to a level where after elections, all people shall focus and get fully engaged in developing the country instead of endlessly fighting.

 “Whether you are a clergy or politician, we are all called to grow the society to the next level,” Mwamba said.