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Why Ruto skipped BBI signature launch

By Eric Wainaina
Thursday, November 26th, 2020
Deputy President William Ruto. Photo/COURTESY
In summary

The conspicuous absence of Deputy President William Ruto during the launch of the exercise to collect a million signatures at the KICC yesterday signalled the deepening cracks between him and his boss President Uhuru Kenyatta over the constitutional reform project.

 While his seat had been reserved on the president’s immediate right, Ruto was nowhere to be seen with his handlers maintaining he had not been invited to the event.

Contacted over Ruto’s conspicuous absence, deputy Communications director at the DP’s office Emmanuel Talam said his boss had not been listed on the day’s programme, hence his absence.

 “You have seen his name is not on the programme, it is the event’s organisers who are supposed to tell you whether they invited him, not us explaining why we are not in attendance,” he said, adding that the DP was in his Karen office.

 It did not help the DP was not listed on the official programme for the event, circulated well before the guests started arriving.

Ruto, who has been at the forefront in poking holes in the document surfaced soon after the event ended, taking to his twitter account to push for consensus on the document.

 Whereas only Uhuru and Raila were the only listed speakers on the day’s official programme, there was room for several invited guests — the ordinary Kenyan — to make their presence felt at the event.

One such Kenyan, Emily Wanjiku, a vegetable vendor from Nairobi’s Korogocho slum became the first Kenyan to append her signature in support of the Bill, minutes before Uhuru did.

 There was however confusion when it came to political party leaders appending their signatures on the document, when the master of ceremony, former Dagoretti MP Dennis Waweru called out both Bungoma Senator Moses Wetangula and Kanduyi MP Wafula Wamunyinyi.

The duo is entangled in a fierce leadership dispute with each claiming to be the bona fide party leader. To break the ice, both leaders ended up appending their signatures to the document. 

 Before the event which lasted approximately one hour and was held in strict adherence to the Covid-19 protocols, MPs and other leaders showcased their dancing talents as the State House choir and the police bands belted out tunes to keep the guests entertained.

Several MPs including Nyeri Town’s Ngunjiri Wambugu, Millie Odhiambo (Suba North), Laikipia Woman Rep Cate Waruguru, Rosa Mbuyu (Kisumu) and Gathoni Wa Muchomba who donned traditional Kikuyu cultural attire took to the floor to dance to the famous Jerusalema song and other Rhumba and gospel songs.

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