DP Ruto says BBI debate will not derail development

Deputy President William Ruto has said the discussions on the anticipated Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report would not derail the country’s development.

He said the Government, led by President Uhuru Kenyatta, was focused on addressing the development needs of the people.

The Deputy President noted that he would direct his energy on serving the people.

“The most important thing to Kenyans is the fixing of the infrastructure, fighting poverty and generating jobs for youths,” he said.

Dr Ruto spoke on Sunday during a prayer service at the African Independent Pentecostal Church of Africa in Thika, Kiambu County.

He was accompanied by MPs Kimani Ichungwa (Kikuyu), Ndindi Nyoro (Kiharu), Rigathi Gachagua (Mathira), Jayne Kihara (Naivasha), Patrick Wainaina (Thika Town), Moses Kuria (Gatundu South), Gabriel Kago (Githunguri) and former Thika Town MP Alice Nganga.

At the same time, the Deputy President said the opinion of every single Kenyan would count if the BBI report is to be backed.

He urged Kenyans to ignore those using threats to support the report whose content is not yet known.

“Every Kenyan would be given a chance to read and understand the report. That way, we would agree on how we would move forward together.”

Dr Ruto urged leaders to guide Kenyans in holding peaceful national discourse about the BBI report without using divisive politics.

“Our prime aim is to bring Kenyans together,” he added.

Mr Nyoro cautioned politicians against using BBI to settle political scores, saying such a scheme would not succeed.

He said Kenyans would have the final say on either the adoption or the rejection of the long-awaited report.

Ms Ng’ang’a said the BBI report should be translated into local languages to give Kenyans an opportunity to understand its content.

On their part, Mr Gachagua and Mr Ichungwa said the report should focus on addressing the most pressing challenges facing Kenyans.

“Our problem is neither political nor constitutional; our problem is economical. Our issues are about the state of tea, coffee and dairy farming and youth unemployment,” explained the Mathira MP.

Mr Ichungwa said if the report would not address the challenges facing Kenyans, it would be rejected.

The Kikuyu lawmaker said Kenyans were more interested in development.

He said it was not practical to have a referendum before 2022 at a time Kenya was under financial strain.

Mr Kuria warned that some of the leaders that were fronting the idea of a review of the constitution were not committed to the country’s unity.

“I could not believe it that the BBI that was supposed to bring Kenyans together would be implemented by use of threats and exclusion,” said the Gatundu South MP.

Meanwhile, Mr Wainana cautioned the BBI committee members against creating two centres of power, saying it was a recipe for disaster.